Captive advertising audience at 30,000 feet

Stephen Baker

I took a US Airways flight from Pittsburgh to Denver yesterday, and the advertising drove me crazy. It's hard to blame the beleaguered airlines for trying to find someway, any way, to make a buck. But isn't one of the new mantras in advertising that the target audience should find the message either useful or fun? That we shouldn't loathe it?

After all the loud (and necessary) safety messages, I pulled out my newspaper. But the noise got louder, as we were subjected to advertisements about all the destinations, and I mean all, that US Airways could take us to. Later in the flight, we got a long and loud come-on about a new credit card they're offering. I didn't mind so much the coffee advertisement plastered onto the pull-out table. It's the noise imposed on a buckled-in captive audience that seems a bit much.

By the way, I was thinking through the flight about how to register my unhappiness with the ads. Should I tell the cabin attendants and pilot on the way out? It's certainly not their fault. But do they transmit the messages given to them? I figured they probably don't. So I gave them a cheerful good-bye and blogged this complaint. From what I'm learning, companies are using advanced math-based systems to scour the blogs for consumer sentiments about their products and services. We'll see if this one pops up on their screen.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.