Why the Genius loves JetBlue

“Flying is for pigeons.”

The genius couldn’t agree more. And so continues my love affair with JetBlue: the ONLY airline that doesn’t totally suck.

(Caveat: I have not flown on Virgin, though I hear they’re decent. If you can afford them, that is.)

Here’s what I love about JetBlue:
1. They don’t suck.
In an industry teeming with crap-ass customer service, cranky employees, and disgruntled travelers, JetBlue stands alone as a shiny beacon of goodness. Their employees actually SMILE at you. They provide snacks that don’t make you want to hurl. They even give you—yes, even you, coach flyer—your very own satellite tv and a shiny, new leather seat. Throw in reasonable fares and a super-friendly brand experience… well, there just aint nothin’ sucky about them.

2. They are unique.
Uh… Refer to point #1 above.
3. They are a cool, fun brand that “gets it.”
Unlike their competitors, JetBlue has nailed the problem—and solved it. If you want to be treated like cattle (but charged like royalty), fly another airline. If you want to actually enjoy air travel, try JetBlue.

They name their airplanes (last time I jetted on Big Apple Betty). They tell jokes. And not in a cheeky, forced kind of way. It’s authentic. It’s… [dare I say it?]… GENIUS!

(Side note: Can someone please explain to me why so many consumer brands are so lame? Why? Why? WHY? It’s criminal, I tell you.)

Why all this gushing about JetBlue, you ask?

Allow me to explain:
Yesterday, I was riding home on the subway when I noticed “Happy Jetting” ads plastered up and down the car. Normally, subway ads bore the genius to tears (or annoy me, I’ll be honest), but this campaign… this campaign instantly caught my eye.

Can you remember the last time you found an advertisement so entertaining that you wished for more? I didn’t think so.

After reaching my office, I did some research on the geniuses behind the Happy Jetting campaign (hats off to JWT New York for the creative an Mr. Youth for the crafty guerrilla programs)… then promptly wrote a love letter to Andrea Spiegel, Vice President of Marketing for JetBlue Airways.

Ok, not really… but I thought about it.

Which brings us to the moral of today’s story: What distinguishes good branding (and good creative for that matter) from… well, the rest of that dreck you wanna-bes torture me with?

Ready? Got your pen and paper out? Here it is:

Good branding isn’t about glossy photos, sexy supermodels, celebrity cameos, or wacky-for-the-sake-of-being-different [and therefore largely pointless] concepts. It’s about making you feel.

Or in this case… making you laugh.

Not in a random-unrelated way… but in a totally on-point, brand-centric, so-true-that-it-hurts kind of way. And so, once more, I give the folks behind the Happy Jetting campaign a standing Genius ovation.

And now… gotta jet!