You've probably heard of Spirit Airlines. These are the people that want to charge you for bringing luggage onboard (in addition to the current practice of charging for luggage you check). I've written previously about why charging for bringing a bag on to the plane makes more sense than charging for a bag you check. But Spirit seems to have missed that point; they are apparently out to squeeze a few bucks out of their passengers any way they can, including a proposal to force passengers to watch 30-second spots while flying.
C'mon folks! You're missing the big picture here. I'm a big fan of looking to other industries for examples of how I can address challenges in my own field of battle. And in this case, the preeminent example of advertiser tie-in's is right in front of our collective face: televised sports. Think about it for thirty seconds and you'll come up with all sorts of examples: everything from "the Dutch Boy 'points in the paint'" in basketball, to baseball's "when it's time for a change, think Speedy Oil Change…" as part of announcing a pitching change. There's not a moment that occurs in a sporting event that hasn't been considered for some kind of sponsorship. I mean, when the legal disclaimer at the beginning of a sports broadcast "this broadcast is for the sole use…" is brought to you by some law firm, you know you've traveled down the tail of the frequency distribution on what can be offered to a sponsor.
So let's imagine a flight on Spirit Airlines, as crafted by the ad folks from NBA, MLB, and NFL…
Good morning passengers. My name is Mary. I'm your Head Flight Attendant. Welcome to Spirit Airlines Flight 885, bound for Orlando Florida. Today's flight is brought to you by Sea World. Shamu on down and check out the show!
The Captain Morgan captain for today's flight is Captain Everett, he's accompanied by First Officer Woodward. Cindy, Duane and I will be your cabin crew.
Now, would you please direct your attention to the monitors for a brief safety message, brought to you by Brinks Security. When you want to feel safe, get Brinks for your home!
This is your captain, from the flight deck. We're currently 5th in line for takeoff on runway 29R. We'll be taking off to the North, then vectoring toward Indianapolis. From there we'll climb to 30,000 feet and head toward Roanoke, Virginia, then on down to Orlando. Weather in Orlando is brought to you by the Weather Channel: when disaster strikes, find out afterwards on the Weather Channel! I anticipate a smooth flight today, but it's always a good idea to keep your seat belt fastened when seated; that's what we do here in the cockpit. And when we're in the market for new belts, we go to Bernie's Belt Emporium, located off of East 55 just outside Akron. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight to Orlando.
Ladies and gentleman, we'll be starting our Michelob Light beverage service in just a moment. We have tap water and weak coffee available with our compliments. Beer and wine are available for an extra charge, but you can avoid paying this charge by watching a series of video advertisements on your personal video monitor. Today's beverage service is brought to you by Gatorade and its "G" line of performance products.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is Captain Everett. Please direct your attention to the monitors for our T-Mobile Friends and Family "final approach" message. We're about 100 miles out from Orlando now. The weather in Orlando is hot and muggy; puts me in the mood for a McDonald's latte! I'll be turning on the "fasten seat belts" sign in just a few minutes, so this would be a good time to take a stroll to the restroom. Remember, if you "like" Spirit Airlines on Facebook, there's no charge for admission!
Approaching the Gate
Ladies and gentlemen, this is Head Flight Attendant Mary. Please remain in your seats until the Captain has parked the plane at the gate and turned off the "fasten seat belts" sign. This will be your indication that it is safe to move about the cabin. Remember Volvo, when safety in movement is your priority! Have a wonderful day in Orlando, or wherever your final destination may be.
See, lots of possibilities! So if you see any of these innovations on your next flight, remember--you read about it here first!