Who says word-of-mouth pranks are only for the kids at interactive agencies? Today’s editions of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com were filled with ads for the revolutionary airline “Derrie-Air,” which bases your ticket price on how much junk is in your trunk. The one-day hoax campaign was launched by the newspapers’ holding company and ad agency Gyro, who wanted to show that newspaper advertising is still a good way to get noticed. They’ll be tracking the traffic at FlyDerrie-Air.com, where you can read all about “the world’s first carbon-neutral luxury airline.” Like any newspaper piece, I lost interest after a few paragraphs, but that didn’t stop me from catching this disturbingly sexual anecdote about fictional airline founder Dick Derrie: “Dick’s longing to plunge into Derrie-Air began in 1994, when he sent his first express package.” UPDATE: Editor & Publisher wonders if the newspapers went too far.
—Posted by David Griner