MarComedy: Don’t make me laugh

For what tickles my fancy in media, communications and life in general.

I’m Feeling Rather Nauseous

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Whether this is a sign of just how desperate the airline industry is for revenue or how advertising has finally crossed the line, US Airways announced today they will be selling ad space on the back of the air-sickness bags that inhabit the seat pockets of every plane.

Slated to start this fall, US Airways is still determining ad rates and targeting companies that would find this medium appealing. The ads could be for anti-motion sickness medication or other products immediately on the mind of someone when they reach for one of the bags. But Mr. Gee will look for a wide range of product advertisements to put on its bags. Resisting the temptation to revert to frat boy barf jokes, lets take a look at the pros and cons of this:

Pros –

  • Captive Audience that’s generally desperate for stimulation.
  • New medium sure to get some early attention.

Cons –

  • Difficult to ensure product exposure. Those seat pockets are stuffed with airline magazines, safety cards and that’s before the passengers get there and fill them up with their own goodies.
  • Negative association – Other than the motion sickness medicine folks, is this really how companies want their products perceived?
  • Spoilage (a kinder, gentler frat boy barf joke).

If the airlines really want to capture new ad revenue, what about ads on the toilet doors (there’s inevitably a line and the model has already proven viable)? Or pilot announcements brought to you by Allstate (you’re in good hands)? I see some airlines have already partnered with hospitality/restaurant companies for their inflight meals. Couldn’t Sony provide the inflight earphones? Or perhaps the itchy and uncomfortable airline blankets and pillows could be improved with some Downy? If airlines really want to get into in-flight advertising, there are plenty of ways to go about it. What they’ve come up with just seems a bit



Written by Jonathan Dunn

July 19, 2006 at 5:53 pm

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