I am a Platinum Delta Skymiles member (I'm also an AAdvantage Executive Platinum member and American is a crayon client), so you can imagine my relief to find out that the airline has emerged from Chapter 11 and is ready to begin Chapter 12.
Last night, their 30-second spot caught my eye on television (some do). Actually I had no idea it was theirs until the payoff, but it did enough to get and keep my attention. Whilst it was no different to most airline creative (sidebar: I have no idea why airlines all do the exact same thing when it comes to advertising, electing to go with a sugar-coated baby, bunny, puppy, flower aspirtional combo), it still did manage to stand out from the rest of the crowd (erectile dysfunction, denture cream, punny automotive etc)
At the end of the spot, my reaction was not one of hope, joy and enthusiasim, but rather one of cynicism, skepticism and sober doubt. My feeling was not "awesome. can't wait to fly your friendly skies again", but instead "yeah right. seeing is believing"
Arguably this is exactly the time to advertise. The brand has something to say. We're out of financial quicksand...we can now concentrate on the important things: you. That's the spirit of the message, but I wonder how ready the airline is ON THE GROUND LEVEL to execute against the (empty) promises laid out in the advertising.
- Have you changed every single one of your fleet?
- Are there screens on every coach-class seatback?
- Is your staff firing on all cylinders, trained, motivated and ready to overdeliver?
On Delta's website, you can watch the commercial. I can't even send you a unique URL as its all flash-based (soooo 2005). I can't even refer you to the me-too of 30-second spot-land, YouTube as there's nothing there.
The website reads, "see our new 30-second TV spot featuring the rebranded, reinvigorated Delta." Do I even need to point out the obvious - why would you turn to a traditional symbol of a time that has passed in order to herald or usher in a new period of change and growth? And why use such Corporatese to do it?
Why not create a Twitter group or an R.S.S. feed that doesn't talk about change, it shows it...it reflects it...it delivers against it, offering permission-based, timely updates or progress reports?
The spot itself says the following: "Rethinking every moment of the travel experience". Well Delta, I'll be waiting, watching and taking photographs of my travel experience with my new Nikon D80 camera to judge for myself whether you have rethunk every moment of my travel experience.
Oh, and best of luck with the next chapter of your journey. I know that might sound flat, but I mean it. I have hundreds of thousands of miles riding on your success.