I have to admit that I was mildly obsessed with the coverage of the 405 closure (i.e. Carmageddon) especially in the days leading up to it. For me, it was the smart marketing people who were the stars of the show—NOT the bridge taker-down-team. (Although, I can appreciate a company who can under-promise and over-deliver on such a fantastic scale.)
The remarkable takeaway for me as a marketing dork was how local businesses took advantage of Carmageddon to generate interest and hopefully revenue. From Washmageddon ($4.05 car washes) to Barmageddon ($4.05 drink specials) there was something for everyone this past weekend.
The best Carmaggedon promotion, in my opinion, came from JetBlue. I want to hang out with the marketing guy/gal who came up with the idea to offer trips over the 405 zone and charge $4.05 per seat (with 1st class upgrades for $1). Can you imagine the backlash this person must have encountered when they first voiced it? And how in the world did JetBlue convince the FAA to allow a never-before-traveled route on such short notice? BRILLIANT!
Shall I break down why this is brilliant?
JetBlue invested the cost of fuel for two roundtrip flights between Long Beach and Burbank on Saturday and Sunday. For this investment, the company received TONS of press coverage, not to mention the word-of-mouth it generated. I first heard about it on Twitter—tweeted by local news—and I can only imagine how widespread this went. Heck, they may have even recouped some of the fuel costs on those baggage fees.
Well played, JetBlue—well played!
Did you enjoy any Carmageddon specials? Let us know in the comments and show some love for the creative geniuses out there.
(And, I am dead serious about my marketing crush—if you are the superhero at JetBlue who concocted this crazy move, please contact me. I am hoping your quick thinking awesomeness will rub off on me.)