The only thing worse than a terrible six-hour flight from Newark to San Francisco might be a six-hour commercial about a terrible airline.
This week Virgin America spoofs the bulk of other major airlines with a five-hour and 45 minute film promoting BLAH Airlines, a generic new airline brand meant to represent its no frills, cattle call, non-purple illuminated competition. Under the tagline “We’ll get you there,” the spot offers a real-time look at a EWR to SFO flight within the beige, annoying confines of BLAH.
Virgin America’s brand marketing and social media manager Jill Okawa Fletcher says BLAH highlights how airlines should be treating and engaging with consumers. “Brands need to be nimble enough to provide rapid responses to their customers,” says Okawa Fletcher. “As the first airline to offer fleetwide wifi back in 2009, we were among the first airlines to develop a real-time dialogue with our guests via social. It has allowed us to connect with our guests at every touchpoint in their experience. We see that as an opportunity to listen to and apply guest feedback in the moment. We also hope Virgin America flyers view our social media channels as an extension of our brand—which means clever, thoughtful, unique, and relevant content with a wink.”
Obviously no one but marketing masochists and the terminally bored would watch the entire thing, but what does make the epic BLAH commercial marathon better than a crappy flight is that you can hit stop and move on whenever you want.