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JetBlue & St. Pete/Clearwater: Right Idea, Poor Execution

What’s wrong with these pictures?

We love when we see traditional advertising tactics such as subway ads come together with emerging tactics like mobile QR codes, but not thinking through the execution of the idea is a real buzz kill.¬† Kudos to JetBlue and St. Pete/Clearwater for being brave enough to execute such a campaign but here are some observations that would’ve improved the execution:

  1. While mobile usage spikes on public transportation, in alot of cases connectivity is limited (like Subway tunnels which is where this took place.)¬† In coming years that might cease to be a problem with municipalities improving public, and underground, connectivity but for the foreseeable future this is a hurdle that needs to be though through.¬† Think about all of those interactions that cease at “this page can not be displayed.”
  2. The reason mobile usage is so high?¬† Most people use it to avoid eye contact or interaction with others.¬† “Snap this code” campaigns are great (when you have connectivity, per #1) but the venue needs to be thoroughly thought through.¬† Are most consumers really going to ask someone to slide out of the way so that they can snap a picture of this code?¬† Probably not.¬† Increasing that probability is the fact that those savvy enough to know about QR codes at this point in time will have already thought through the fact that they don’t have connectivity to complete the cycle.
  3. Yeah, but what about the branding value?¬† Or the people that will visit when they get home?¬† There are other cities with above ground transportation, right?¬† Well, yeah, but arguing those three points are kind of like taking the time to argue that the sky isn’t blue, it’s teal.¬† If branding is what you were going for, a “hey, you – wouldn’t you rather be in St. Pete/Clearwater rather than this stuffy subway” campaign would’ve achieved more and been more memorable.¬† If recall is what was being targeted, why waste valuable real estate on a QR code or messaging about visiting a website – instead educate the consumer about this “cool QR code campaign” and “be on the lookout”, then drop the “hit us up when you get home” with the URL.¬† Finally – THIS IS A NYC OUTDOOR (including subway) EXECUTION!¬† Localize the message, target it towards your NYC audience.¬† If the campaign is running in Chicago too, make the message localized for those riding the El – something JetBlue did very well a few years back with their “Dear JetBlue” campaign.

JetBlue, we love you.¬† St. Pete/Clearwater (and all of Florida for that matter), we love you too.¬† Kudo’s for a great idea and thank you for helping to bridge the gap between traditional and non-traditional.¬† If you’d like some advice on how to put some glue in the remaining gaps which will help increase engagement and overall success, we’d love to talk.


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