Sky-High Ambitions: How JetBlue Uses Cheery Travel Marketing to Fly High

Creating an alluring marketing campaign for an airline amid a pandemic seems impossible—but JetBlue succeeded. Here's how the trendy airline spoke to weary travelers and brought fliers back to the skies.

Casual-yet-caring tactics helps JetBlue retain—and grow—their audience, even in the midst of a global emergency.
Casual-yet-caring tactics helps JetBlue retain—and grow—their audience, even in the midst of a global emergency.

Dusty, unstamped passports and unused boarding passes seemed to be the norm for 2020, with air travel slumping over 65% and airlines forced to lay off more than 90,000 workers. To put it another way, you might imagine decent travel marketing is just impossible nowadays.

But JetBlue is weathering the turbulence with more than emphasizing safety in a post-pandemic world. Their efforts reach the wariest—and weariest—of fliers, ensuring that they arrive at their destination refreshed and rejuvenated. 

You don’t have to take to the skies to see what JetBlue is doing right here—and how you can follow their travel marketing lead.

Delighting Fliers with Luxury and Ease

Founded as a low-cost airline, JetBlue has long cornered the market of millennial travelers. Their new Mint service is a clear indicator of the airline growing with its market, catering to an audience that values self-care and wellness, with an affinity for brand names and a desire to support small businesses. 

Mint offers passengers a luxurious travel experience, with chef-curated meals, artisanal cocktails, cozy bedding, and a bevy of other amenities that reinvent air travel as we know it. They’ve partnered with recognizable brands—like Tuft & Needle for bedding, Master & Dynamic for noise-cancelling headphones, and provisions from NYC’s popular Charlie Bird restaurant and Hu snacks—to create a lush, cosmopolitan environment 35,000 miles in the air. 

In a year that has hit airlines hard, JetBlue is refocusing its travel marketing message to highlight the experience of travel itself, emphasizing stellar hospitality and comfort on historically less-than-restful voyages. From “There’s no place like Mint,” to “Arrive in Mint condition,” JetBlue evokes feelings of comfort and home, while also addressing some of flying’s biggest pain points. Plus, after the stress of 2020, self-care in the sky feels like the ultimate cure-all. 

MarketSmiths Case Study

The Austrian Tourist Board (ATO) was planning to launch a major campaign across New York City—aimed at promoting the country’s delicious wines. But before the ATO could get started, it needed help with copy, including a 12-page brochure, a postcard, an insert, and more. With just one month to drum up publicity, MarketSmiths had to work fast, partnering with MST Creative, a restaurant PR firm, to spread the word on Austria’s many tipples. Our successes speak for themselves: 14 New York restaurants featured Austrian Wine Month, while the event quickly appeared in Zagat, Time Out, and Village Voice, to name just a few major publications.

> Read the full case study here

Steering Sales Upward with Loyal Branding 

Apart from making flights more alluring, JetBlue is encouraging travelers to book with them at a tumultuous time for travel. Since so many plans can be canceled at a moment’s notice—whether due to increased travel restrictions, a positive COVID test, or any number of other concernsJetBlue has offered flexible ticketing to ease the stress of flying in a pandemic. 

Admittedly, many airlines have implemented similar flexible booking policies since the start of the pandemic. But JetBlue’s approach is much more down to earth and consumer-focused, offering themselves as a trusted travel partner rather than a greedy corporation.

In their policies, they frequently use casual language on par with their audience—they offer programs like “BFF – Best Fare Finder” and “Even More Space,” demystifying their benefits with language and motives that encourage a loyal following. 

And, they have gone one step further, partnering with the Aruba Tourism Board to ensure passengers get the COVID tests necessary before flying. While this is meant to boost the number of travelers and the tourism economy, it also alleviates confusion and stress for travelers, who may be unsure of the most up-to-date policies for the airlines and countries alike. 

This casual-yet-caring travel marketing tactic helps JetBlue retain—and grow—their audience, even in the midst of a global emergency.

Learn why the best return on your marketing dollar comes from copywriting.

Building a Brand for the People 

Since it was founded, JetBlue has strived to give fliers more than the dreary, cramped flying experience that has become the norm across many larger airlines, aimed simply to carry you from place to place. 

Their travel marketing has always centered on the customer experience, seeking to improve not only flying but also the expectations of airlines. Their tagline, “All travel. All right here. All for you,” drives this point home, putting an emphasis on how their service is all-encompassing with multiple ground transportation and accommodation partners, which saves passengers the time and stress of finding what they need. 

But where JetBlue truly soars above the competition is in their community outreach and brand initiatives, from volunteering with and donating to grassroots organizations to strives in sustainability and climate leadership. 

JetBlue’s travel marketing strategy that reflects the brand’s values and engages customers—while valuing their business—is one that all companies should be paying attention to, whether within the travel industry or not. Over the past two decades, JetBlue has stayed true to its core values of safety, caring, integrity, passion, and fun, bringing with them an authenticity inspiring to all budding brands, not just those in travel marketing. 

And with more than 4.1 billion air travelers in 2017—a number that increases annually (2020 notwithstanding)—and an anticipated boost in air travel in 2021, it’s clear that the demand for a more transparent, trustworthy airline exists—and JetBlue is at the helm to provide it. 

If you’re looking to launch fresh, engaging copy that soars, our team of copywriting experts is ready to help—contact MarketSmiths today

Anne Elder

Anne Elder

Anne moved to New York after spending several years living in—and writing about—France. She is an avid bookworm and freelance baker with an affinity for underused words (like "ombibulous").

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