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October 16, 2012

Creative Internet Marketing: JetBlue Election Protection, Losers can be Winners

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor

Every once in a while my previous life as a marketing communications consultant gets the best of me as I admire creative campaigns. Such is case with JetBlue’s Election Protection initiative. Check it out. 

With passions running high here in the U.S. running up to the presidential election, there are probably more than a few people who would like to act on that old proclamation, “If (fill in the blank) wins, get me out of here!” Banking on the fact that lots of folks feel that way, lucky winners/losers could be one of 1,006 contestants who have their wishes granted by getting a free round-trip ticket to one of JetBlue’s 21 foreign destinations. Look at this list, which includes Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, St. Maarten, St. Lucia and Turks & Caicos.

Here is how it works:

Are you ready? Here is what you need to do. Sign up for the promotion, select your choice for president, and you literally could be good to go. All JetBlue wants you to do is cast your virtual vote, provide a little personal information so they can contact you, and select where you’d like to sulk.

The results are tallied on a real-time heat map, and are combined with tools that track social media buzz around the campaign.

In announcing the promotion, Marty St. George, senior vice president marketing and commercial strategy for JetBlue stated, “Fun is one of our five founding values, and in this spirit we decided to give people a chance to recover from the political noise and follow through on their claim to skip town if their candidate comes up short.”

He should have added that fun is in watching video as well. 

Nice to see JetBlue’s ad agency Mullen did not miss a trick in exploiting the full potential of the Web. Wish I had an airline and had thought of this. 

I have already voted with JetBlue but now am thinking about how to win. I will not disclose my political leanings except to say I am a registered independent, and like to think of myself as a pragmatic opportunist. I was torn as to what to do. Vote for whom I like? Vote for the person I think will win, even if it is not the candidate I like? Vote for the person leading in real-time on JetBlue under the assumption they may know something? Be a contrarian? 

I decided to vote for the person I like, and will have my wife vote for the other guy to cover all the bases. To heck with the presidential race! A free airline ticket to a nice place is a free airline ticket to a nice place. As Jimmy Buffet would say, take me to Margaritaville. When it comes to marketing, the Internet is a wonderful thing.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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