If you don’t recognize names like Kevin Nalts, Justine Ezarik or Meghan Asha, you’ve revealed two things about yourself: You’re not part of the digital elite, and you weren’t on JetBlue’s inaugural New York to Los Angeles flight in late June. (Don’t worry, we’re a very large club.)
To christen its maiden L.A.-bound flights from both New York’s JFK and Boston’s Logan last month, the airline wanted a campaign that would speak specifically to the young adults it expects will be among its primary customer base for low-cost fares. So JetBlue and its agency Mediacom Interaction opted to publicize the service not with broadcast media but with a series of videos featuring heavily-followed YouTube luminaries Nalts, Ezarik and Asha.
The social-media moguls, chosen because they commanded substantial followings on YouTube, were loaded onto BetaBlue, the lone Wi-Fi enabled aircraft in the JetBlue fleet, and encouraged to Twitter, blog and make videos during the six-hour flight.
The videos were produced in conjunction with Howcast, a Web start-up that produces how-to video content, hosts it at www.Howcast.com and also syndicates it to a network of Web sites.
Most of them offered a highly personal, quirky take on air travel tips — Nalts, a former Johnson & Johnson marketer, offered yoga in the aisle and sock washing in the restroom — but Delphine Dijon, a model with the Ford agency, starred in a couple of videos that gave more straightforward tips on “how to stay fabulous” coast to coast.
All the videos acknowledged that they were made with the cooperation of JetBlue, and those from Ezarik and Dijon actually plugged features of the service, lightly and without diluting the entertainment value of the content.
None of the videos is a runaway hit by Web standards, but they’ve drawn anywhere from 25,000 to 60,000 views. And reaching the right people is more important than reaching the most, says Daniel Blackman, co-founder and COO of Howcast.
“JetBlue recognizes that the demographic they’re trying to reach are following individuals online, and the goal was to create original content leveraging social media in an organic way.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Facebook now has 250 million members — 50 million of them added in just the last four months. The average user spent 4 hours and 39 minutes on the Web site in June 2009, more time than at any other single Web brand. Source: Nielsen NetView