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JetBlue differentiates mobile ad efforts via voice recognition

JetBlue is the first brand in the United States to test a new type of mobile ad that leverages voice to create a two-way conversation.

Mobile is playing a substantial role in JetBlue?s new ?Air on the Side of Humanity? campaign in creating customized advertising and distributing video. The airline worked with mediahub/Mullen on the campaign.

?When we talk about the media planning and the device that we were focusing on to incorporate, we?re moving from media planning to screen planning,? said Elizabeth Eelman, advertising manager at JetBlue, Long Island City, NY.

?We want to follow users wherever they are and in the relevant places where they are,? she said.

?This is a first-to-market opportunity, and we embraced it because the nature of the campaign lends itself to some personality.?

Mobile wings
JetBlue has partnered with Mobile Theory on the voice-activated mobile campaign. 

Consumers will be served collapsed ads within Mobile Theory?s network of mobile sites and applications that expand when clicked on.

An image of a pigeon then pops up and a voice over prompts them to learn how to speak like a pigeon by clicking through on the mobile ad.

A screenshot of the ad

Sounds and words will then scroll across the screen when a user says a specific prompt, creating an entire sentence.

If consumers complete two sentences, they will receive a medal and can then choose to replay the game.

When consumers click on the ads, they are prompted to tap on the screen to start a conversation with a pigeon.

Consumers can also click-through at the end of the ad to be directed to the campaign's microsite at

The ads will begin rolling out in early October, and the voice recognition technology is powered by Nuance.

?It?s a 360-degree campaign, and we are rolling it out on every channel possible ? people are naturally using their phones for entertainment and communication,? Ms. Eelman said.

?This campaign is meant to tap into a mindset, and we think that mobile can lend itself nicely to bring the insight to life,? she said.

JetBlue is rolling out TV spots in 39 primetime season premieres and will use Hulu and CBS Interactive partnerships to push the content out to more consumers on desktops and tablets.

There will also be a branded entertainment section within Hulu with more information about the JetBlue campaign.

Two-way talking
As marketers look for new ways to communicate with consumers via mobile advertising, voice recognition presents a big opportunity to brands.

However, the technology is still relatively new, especially when it comes to integration into banner ads.

Outside of the current campaign, JetBlue has been building up its mobile efforts for quite some time.
Most recently, an executive from JetBlue spoke at eTail East about different ways that mobile is building CRM through in-flight tablets (see story).

JetBlue also rolled out mobile boarding passes within its iPhone app earlier this year (see story).

?We think this is a really interactive experience for the consumer,? said Jade Watts vice president and group digital media director at mediahub/Mullen, Boston.

?We believe that that consumers will be most engaged when they feel like marketing is a two-way conversation rather than being directly marketed to,? she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York