It was handed to AdFreak for free in a newsstand in Grand Central yesterday, and we haven’t been the same since. At first, seeing a warm freebie in our lap all nice and red, with a cute little white airplane on it, made us feel all tingly. Then we actually started to read it, and we wondered how such an absolutely preposterously silly idea could get from the desks of Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Virgin into the hands of thousands of innocent commuters.
As one of my colleagues put it, it makes you wonder if the whole trend toward out-of-the-box creative has jumped the shark.
The magazine is supposed to be devoted to the “new jet set,” or jetrosexuals, but it comes off as the ultimate vanity project—cool people talking to other cool people about why they’re so cool. As one Virgin traveler says, “The most interesting people I meet on planes aren’t rock stars (though I’ve met more than a few of them that way). They are people from completely different industries that I know nothing about who teach me all these amazing things I never knew I wanted to learn.”
How enlightened! Not slapping a few back with the Hives? Might as well chat with Bill Gates! Yeccch!
Other parts read like an episode of bird-watching gone horribly awry: “The jetrosexual expects to remain connected to the best culture and entertainment even at 37,000 ft. They demand parallel living conditions in the air: Stylishly-designed furnishings, a wide selection of on-demand digital entertainment and gourmet food. And if a massage is available, so much the better. … Jetrosexuals will work as necessary on the plane, but they are no drones.” What’s next? In-depth pieces about their mating habits? An analysis of the sleep disorders they suffer from because of all those time changes?
We kept trying to find the joke, and then we found it, on the cover: We got this copy free, but it retails for $7.99.
—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor