Election protection – JetBlue scores a marketing campaign winner!

South of the border things are heating up with the US presidential election. Election campaigns are usually full of promises – lower taxes, better healthcare, more jobs. But what if someone promised you a free flight to leave the country if your chosen candidate didn’t win? That’s exactly what JetBlue is doing with their November marketing campaign “2012 Election Protection – Live Free or Fly.”

Fearing the country will immediately go to the dogs if their candidate looses, those who respond to the contest will have a chance to leave on a free flight. All they have to do is visit the airline’s website and register their vote. 1,006 tickets will be given away to a possible 21 destinations. The company is also encouraging Americans to get out and vote.

This is a cheeky and clever marketing campaign aimed at garnering publicity far beyond the purchased buy. It’s fun, it cuts through the clutter, and it milks a timely event; all golden rules for getting publicity. It’s also a great way to capture customer information, and to leverage it in future campaigns. Arguably, knowing which side of the political battle American’s align with will also enable the company to position with humour, segmented marketing communications.

Check out the campaign here:

Could we ever see something this clever in Canada? Well first we’d have to have a political run off worth the excitement, which appears at best distant. With the exception of Justin Trudeau’s recently launched run at leadership for the beleaguered third place Liberal party of Canada, we’ve been stripped of anything with charismatic appeal on the political stage. Perhaps that’s why we watch with envy, the battle south of the border. Trudeau may well pull a page from the late Jack Layton’s playbook and position himself as the cute, charismatic and capable Justin, rather than running on the divisive yet famous name of his father and long time Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. And the only airline that has a cheeky enough personality to mimic the “Don’t like it, leave” approach of JetBlue would be Westjet. But until then, kudos to JetBlue for their timely creativity. Well done.



Mary Charleson

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