JetBlue Case Study: Social Media, With Emphasis on the Social (Part 1 of 4)

Part 1: Marty St. George, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Commercial Strategy at JetBlue Airways, speaks about how and why JetBlue began to use social media.  He presents the challenge of creating a successful marketing plan in the airline industry, which traditionally isn’t rated well with consumers. He focuses on JetBlue’s plan to treat the airline business as a service business, and their goal to ‘bring the humanity’ back to air travel.  This goal suffered a serious blow with the events of February 14, 2007, when weather and other issues contributed to about 1,000 canceled flights in five days, and left nine flights full of passengers sitting on the tarmac at JFK for six hours or more.  Following this event, JetBlue dedicated itself to making amends with its customers through traditional media outlets, but the airline also took the leap into social media.

The CEO of JetBlue spoke on camera, unscripted, about the events of February 14 and how committed the company was to solving the problem.  The video was posted on and received tons of comments, including messages of forgiveness and appreciation for this level of communication.  It created a 2-way dialogue between JetBlue and its customer base, and was a truly revolutionary moment for the brand, marking the beginning of their social media strategy.  Customers became even more engaged with the brand than before the event, and this was followed by a Facebook presence, a Flickr page with pics posted by Jet Blue and customers, a blog (originally started for crew members only, it became so popular they expanded it to include customers as well) and a Twitter account.

This video was filmed at TWTRCON NY on June 14, 2010.