Ad of the Day: JetBlue Asks Flyers to ‘Reach Across the Aisle’ in Election-Year Stunt

150 people each get a free trip, if they can agree on a place to go

JetBlue invited 150 unsuspecting passengers to "Reach Across the Aisle" in this fun, election-themed stunt from longtime partner MullenLowe.

Those travelers were given the chance to win free round-trip airfare to one of 20 domestic or international destinations served by the carrier. But … they'd get those travel certificates (worth about $300 each) only if they could decide on a single destination by unanimous vote before their six-hour flight from Boston landed in Phoenix.

"JetBlue is one of those brands that is very comfortable being involved with the bigger conversation," MullenLowe executive creative director Tim Vaccarino told Adweek. "This being one of the most polarizing political climates in history, we saw an opportunity to make a comment about what's truly possible when we all work together."

So, could this diverse group make the tough compromises necessary to reach an accord? Or, in an airborne parody of our putrid political process, would they behave like whiny babies, gridlocked at 40,000 feet?

Watch the clip below to find out.

OK, given that JetBlue is posting the film across its social channels, a happy landing for the contest was basically a given. (The passengers probably agreed on Costa Rica so the moderator would shut the hell up already. Somebody get that guy a parachute!)

Overall, it's a satisfying social experiment in line with JetBlue's convivial, customer-centric image, though perhaps not as cool as Chrysler's recent dueling presidents spots. (If nothing else, however, JetBlue provides a smoother ride than Delta in its advertising these days.)

"We've seen so much news coverage lately that paints the picture of a society becoming increasingly polarized and politicians incapable of working together," said Elizabeth Windram, the airline's director of brand management and advertising. "This video is our way of questioning that assumption."

Vaccarino added, "The beauty of these things is they're cultural experiments. You never really know where they're going to lead you. They unfold in real time. They're unvarnished and can be held up as a real indicator of how people are feeling. That's what makes them so provocative."

Such high-minded creative ideals. Dude must come from the progressive wing of the party.

CREDITS

JetBlue: Reach Across The Aisle

Client: JetBlue Airways

Agency: MullenLowe and Mediahub

JetBlue

VP, Marketing: Jamie Perry

Manager, Regional Marketing & Consumer Promotions: Tara Carson

Manager, Brand Advertising & Content: Phil Ma

Director, Corporate Communications: Doug McGraw

Manager, Corporate Communications: Morgan Johnston

Consumer Promotions Analyst: Jaclyn Costantino

Creative

Chief Creative Officer: Mark Wenneker

Executive Creative Director: Tim Vaccarino

Executive Creative Director: Dave Weist

Senior Art Director: Ryan Montgomery

Senior Copywriter: Tim Bildsten

Senior Art Director: Jay Spahr

Senior Copywriter: Nick Olish

Production

Executive Director Integrated Production: Liza Near

Content Producer: Eric Skvirsky

DP, Senior Editor: Rob Apse

2nd Camera, Assistant Editor: Jake Stafford

Animator: Eric Ko

Production Supervisor: Kristine Ring-Janicki

Project Manager: Molly McKeown

Account Management

SVP, Group Account Director: Drayton Martin

Account Director: Molly Bluhm

Account Executive: Grace Clemow

Mediahub

VP, Associate Media Director: Rachel Allen

Media Supervisor: Shoshana Levine

PR/Social

SVP, Account Director PR: Jaclyn Ruelle

Account Supervisor: Becky Brand