Social Experiment on JetBlue activates brand at 34,000 ft


When passengers of JetBlue flight 603 boarded their plane at Point A, they were simply trying to get to Point B. Juggling a boarding pass, ID, laptop and snacks may not leave much attention to enjoy the whimsical JetBlue brand messages during boarding. As their customers would attest, JetBlue constantly strives to differentiate themselves from other carriers. JetBlue customers should never liken their flight to a bus ride downtown. This is the challenge that brand activation seeks to overcome.

Brand activation marketing generates consumer interest by enabling consumers to experience a product or service. The goal is to activate the brand’s value with the consumer – that epiphany in which people develop a strong, favorable opinion about the business because of a personal interaction and, ideally, spread this opinion among others. Brand loyalty is created. When JetBlue first approached Centra360 with their concept for the “Reach Across the Aisle” program, we didn’t think anyone had ever done anything like it – we loved it. Perhaps that’s why the following video from Flight 603 achieved over 1 million views on YouTube in just a few weeks.


Here’s how it worked:  When they reached cruising altitude, customers were surprised with the opportunity to participate in an in-flight voting challenge. It was revealed that a brochure had been placed in all seatback pockets containing information on various destinations around the world serviced by JetBlue. Their host, a charismatic and entertaining MC, guided them through the experience with a smile. However, he frequently reminded them that, in the end, the choice of destination must be unanimous among all participants or no one wins.


While reading and discussing the list of potential destinations, people imagined themselves disembarking JetBlue flights ready to enjoy an exciting vacation – many to destinations they may have never considered before. At this moment, the promotion became a success. Not only were passengers studying locations flown by JetBlue, they began convincing fellow passengers, strangers, of the benefits of each destination in order to persuade their vote.

This level of brand engagement can be achieved for nearly all product and services. Think about how your target customer uses your product. How can you inspire them to dream?  How can the brand touch people emotionally?  How can you associate your brand with positive experiences which may at first seem unrelated?

Traditional advertising will always be limited by the fact that many consumers value the messages of friends, family and other consumers above the brand’s. With the ubiquity of the internet, consumers have more resources than ever to seek out the reviews and experiences they demand while navigating the path to purchase. It is to the marketers’ benefit to give customers the platforms that allow them to share their memorable experiences. Not selling airline tickets?  Centra360 can help you develop social media campaigns or photo/video contests that focus on generating consumer content and viral sharing to activate consumer experiences and extend the reach of their messages.

Feel free to contact Centra360 to discover how we can best activate your brand. It’s what we love to do.

“Centra360 was an invaluable partner in bringing this out of the box marketing stunt to life. We relied on their expertise to guide this activation in a safe and responsible way that kept customers at the center.” J.C. JetBlue Airlines, Long Island City, NY.