Advertising’s new cheap whore: the airlines

A lot of “ad-creep” has been happening in the airline biz over the past few years.  They’re sticking ads on the trays and the backs of the seats, which you simply can’t avoid, and some of them are even making their flight attendants pitch credit card offers during flights (Alaska Air is one of the worst).  God, how depressing.  Now, some genius company has decided that they’re going to put ginormous landscape ads on the runway.  The managing director of Ad-Air (which actually sounds like an airline) says the ads would appear in “clutter-free environments and moments free of any other commercial messages.”  Translation:  these douchebags know you’re a captive audience and they’re going to take every advantage of it.  The airlines can’t resist making an easy buck, after all.

Here’s the scenario I picture in the near future.  My favorite part of any flight is, naturally, looking out the window and possibly taking some photos.  So once the runway’s obscenely large ads are gone, I’ll be gazing out at the beautiful sky and earth below, only to discover they’ve pasted giant ads for tampons all over the plane’s wings.  Disgusted, I’ll pull the window shade down…and there will be an ad printed on that as well, probably for sleeping aid medication.  Sigh.  The ad on the back of the seat in front of me tells me how much I need a new SUV, so I close my eyes and attempt to listen to my music.  This is hard to do because every 15 minutes the screens lower from above and play a loud, obnoxious commercial for Budweiser or Pizza Hut or Chevy trucks.

Oh good, lunch is served!  The flight attendant hands me a tray, and each item is imprinted with a little ad for something.  Once I’ve eaten everything I can see the bottom of the tray.  There’s an ad stuck to it for cheap in-flight calls which can be made from this very plane.

Suddenly all this advertising is making me need to hit the restroom, so once I’m in there and things have begun to flow, a chirpy female voice comes out of a speaker in the wall and begins extolling the depression-curing virtues of Paxil and Zoloft and Wellbutrin.  “Why feel down in the dumps when you have the choice to feel nothing at all?” she says.  Indeed.

Finally, once we’ve landed (flying past the runway ads and enduring another credit card pitch from the service droids), we’re greeted in the terminal by aggressive salespeople from every major mobile phone company offering us crazy deals on new phones and service.  They know we’re tired and cranky and our defenses have been battered by the assault of advertising on the plane, and thus we’re more likely to just say “Yes yes yes, I’ll take it! Just sign me up and get the fuck away from me!”  A month later we find out that the new mobile service is twice as expensive, the new phone is a piece of shit, and the new service violates our existing service contract so we’re getting stiffed with a $200 early termination fee.

This sort of thing is just around the corner, folks.  Just wait and see!

0 thoughts on “Advertising’s new cheap whore: the airlines

Add yours

  1. by the time this becomes common, we’ll learn to accept the ads as part of our environment and then we will no longer perceive them. And then you’ll find ads for ad-free flights.

    Like

  2. start bringing magic markers with you and doodle (discreetly) on the ads
    that’s what I would do if I could remember to do that and remove all my implements of terror from my pockets

    Like

Say it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: