Badvertising: Inflight Eyeball Capturing

America West Flight #6—Chicago to Phoenix. Altitude: 300 feet and climbing. I bring my tray table down and see a picture of a handsome, rugged guy in a workshirt, and realize that I’m looking at a Woolrich ad. I’m in seat D. I look across the aisle to my wife in seat C and see a Kenneth Cole ad. Next to her my daughter has Shick Quattro, and by the window by twelve-year old son’s tray table has a Jhane Barnes ad. (Great targeting)

I can imagine the pitch the ad agencies made to their clients about this one: “You’ve got a captive audience.” “We can capture millions of eyeballs.” “Potential customers can’t help but look at your ads—they’ll even be able to see your logo through their Sprite!.” “Think of all of the impressions you’ll get on a three hour flight.”

So what?

Marketing is not about jumping in front of your customers and shouting, “Hey, look at me!” But the marketing world is drunk with the idea that interrupting customers is the key to winning their love and loyalty.

Imagine if you were a sixteen-year-old boy, and you decided your best strategy for winning the affection of a girl in your sophomore class would be to lurk around corners so you could pop into her field of vision as she walked by. Would it work? NO! So why should it work with marketing?

Steve Yastrow posted this on December 20, 2004, in Marketing.
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