Sometimes Answers Are Right In Front of Us

Pan AmEvery now and then you see a great idea that makes you say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

A few weeks ago a work colleague and I were flying on US Airways from New York to D.C. When the drink cart came by, we both lowered our tray tables and to our surprise we saw an eye — catching ad for the new TV program, Pan-Am. A row of beautifully coiffed stewardesses dressed in bright blue 1960’s outfits practically jumped off the tray table.

We were impressed for a few reasons. One, we had never seen advertising on a tray table before. What an ideal “captive” vehicle for people strapped into a seat for a few hours! Two, the contextual relevance of seeing a promotion for a TV program about an airline, on an airline was a perfect fit. And last, the irony of one airline still in business allowing ads on their tray tables about a former competitive airline didn’t escape us.

The stars were in alignment for the perfect execution of this idea. I wonder how many other great contextual opportunities are out there that we overlook because they are so obvious. So the next time you have a marketing problem to solve, pay attention. The answer could right under your nose — literally.

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