- JetBlue is celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month through a partnership with VH1 television show "RuPaul's Drag Race," according to a press release. The New York-based airline has created the "Shantay Blue Stay" plane, an Airbus inspired by RuPaul's "shantay, you stay" catchphrase. The plane also features JetBlue's new blue and orange branding on its latest tailfin design.
- To promote the new plane, JetBlue created a video starring Bob the Drag Queen and Trixie Mattel. The iconic drag queens promote various selling points of JetBlue flights including leg room and free snacks. The video is available via "RuPaul’s Drag Race," VH1 and JetBlue social media channels.
- During the week of June 10, JetBlue ran a terminal takeover at its T5 terminal at JFK promoting the new planes and celebrating pride. The in-airport effort included RuPaul quotes, photos, displays and Instagram opportunities. There was also a hair and makeup station, as well as a postcard station to write pride messages.
JetBlue joins Smirnoff and Hyatt in creating campaigns that seek to engage with consumers flying to New York for World Pride festivities, but are sure to be seen by larger audiences of travelers and social media users.
The trend suggests marketers may be trying to address an untapped opportunity, as recent research shows that the LGBTQ community is interested in travel but feels underrepresented in tourism marketing.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising that occurred in New York City, and brands like JetBlue are looking to show support and wave their rainbow flags through various campaigns and activations. Smirnoff is also celebrating the event by partnering with LGBTQIA+ influencers for a multichannel campaign debuting around NYC Pride, including a digital video series running on Smirnoff's social media channels and in displays around the LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International and Newark International airports.
Similarly, Hyatt has created a series of experiential travel packages around NYC Pride and World Pride, giving loyalty members the chance to bid on hotel stays and tickets to popular sold-out Pride events in NYC. The hotel chain is also running promotions and activations in Hyatt locations, such as a Keith Haring exhibition at the Park Hyatt New York and an LGBT+ book library celebrating authors from the community at the Andaz 5th Avenue.
These campaigns could benefit from engaging consumers in a lighthearted way, as research shows that consumers are less likely to respond to heavy-handed cause-related marketing. However, it's not clear how effective these efforts will be, as half of Americans say they're more likely to see Pride-themed products or content as a marketing tactic than an accurate reflection of a brand's values, according to a recent YouGov survey.