Friday, 6 May 2016

JetBlue Wants Little Babies To Cry Before It Will Lower Its Prices

I’ve been being far too positive and nice about ads lately. Must be my kind and generous personality shining through.

(I am actually a decent person, honest.)

So here’s a terrible one, “FlyBabies” by MullenLowe for JetBlue in the US.

Here, we see mothers and their babies board a flight. But, this is no ordinary flight! It's a special flight where any time a baby cries, JetBlue will take 25% off everyone's next flight. Isn't that lovely?


The first issue, which I admit is at least partly to do with the US style of advertising, is the mawkish, over-egged drama of the whole thing. Nervous mothers, people staring, and obviously planted, scripted dialogue undermining any sense of genuine emotion. It feels inherently fake and forced.

Flight attendants: like huge, insincere spiders.
But my main beef with this film is that there’s no value to it. It was a stunt. A one-off. JetBlue don’t actually give a discount to people when babies cry on their flights.

(Which is fair enough. That would be a really stupid idea.)

It's an event, created to be filmed. What then is the point to anyone else? I can't imagine why we're supposed to be impressed with the kindness of a single event. If you're going to lecture us on a moral about being nicer to parents, you've got to make more of an effort than this.

I mean, it’s nice that a handful of people got free flights.

(It’s nice for them, anyway.)

No one else gets anything out of it though. What we get is a wee story about how great JetBlue are, because they once did a cool thing for a few people on one flight.

And then there’s this, from Elle:

‘For now, a spokesperson for JetBlue says the airline has no immediate plans to repeat the stunt. But, she added, "you never know what JetBlue has up their sleeves!"’

Which is basically the PR equivalent for “don’t look behind the curtain!”

I’m not saying this to be a Scrooge or to hate on kids. Quite the opposite. If anything it’s perverse that JetBlue are celebrating and rewarding and revelling in a child’s tears.

An understandable action, but I thought they were trying to make the opposite point.
That’s literally what they’re doing, when you come down to it. Linking financial gain with upsetting children. You're practically putting an incentive on people to make their kids cry. This isn't supposed to be Oliver Twist for heaven's sake.

(Although the choreography is almost as obvious.)

This is one of the dumbest, most meritless ads I think I’ve ever seen. JetBlue and MullenLowe, I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

If People Can Ignore a Giant Warning Sign on a Bridge, What Chance Does Your Social Post About It Being Wednesday Have?

(I mean I'll be impressed if you just read that headline through.)

From today's news, an impressive display.

From the BBC:

"A lorry has crashed into a railway bridge emblazoned with "low bridge" warning signs in London."

"A spokesman from Southern Railway said: "The bridge was hit by lorries four times in September and has since been struck twice every month, causing more than 147 cancellations and delaying trains by over 73 hours in total."

"The situation is so serious at Tulse Hill that Network Rail has now assigned response staff to monitor the bridge on location at peak times every week.

"It has also installed a large steel protection beam, the large "low bridge" banner and CCTV."

As good a reminder as any of the limits of advertising.

No matter how clear, simple and powerful your message may be, a lot of the time, people are just not going to look at it.

(To be honest though, I mostly just wanted to share how silly this story is.)