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Election-Inspired Campaigns: Boston Market and JetBlue
By: E. V. Perkins Jr.
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Ads for this year’s presidential campaign have been seen on TV, Internet banners, video games, and mobile apps. Interest in the 2012 election is extremely high, and brands are joining in on the fun. USA Today recently ran two articles (“7-Eleven, Boston Market, Maker's Mark get political with ads” and “Pizza Hut, JetBlue, etc., try election PR stunts”) discussing brands that have jumped on the political bandwagon. Let’s take a closer look at the online campaigns run by Boston Market and JetBlue.
Boston Market recently launched a limited-time only menu item: Market Bowls. There are three options to choose from: meatloaf, chicken, or turkey. The “Market Bowl Poll” pits the chicken (left wing) against the turkey (right wing). This campaign is pretty straightforward. You visit their microsite, watch the video, read each candidate’s main points, and then vote. The chicken bowl is “Liberally sprinkled with their signature rotisserie chicken.” After making your selection, you can download a coupon for $1 off any market bowl selection at your nearest Boston Market location. You can also share your vote on Facebook and Twitter using the following pre-determined message:

“I just voted for the Left Wing Bowl in Boston Market's Bowl Poll! http://marketbowlpoll.com #marketbowlpoll Vote Chicken! http://youtu.be/IF9hu_pPfTk

This campaign is great because it’s simple, fun, and not too political. Boston Market ties into the Presidential Election without attaching itself to a particular candidate.
JetBlue is offering “Election Protection.” If your candidate loses, you can win a free trip out of the country! Destinations include: Costa Rica, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Turks & Caicos, and the Bahamas. The microsite shows a countdown to the election, current poll results (Democrats have 54%), and the top destinations customers want to go to. To enter, you choose a political party, select your destination, and fill out a registration form.
This campaign is brilliant! JetBlue can generate a lot of brand awareness and reach new customers with this sweepstakes. However, the best part is the consumer data they’ll receive. The top destinations map tells them which locations are popular among customers with a certain political affiliation. For example, Costa Rica appears to be more popular among Democrats, while Grand Cayman island is favored by Republicans (draw your own conclusion as to why). This information can help them target customers better in the future.
This year’s Presidential Election has drawn a lot of attention. Hopefully the techniques used by Boston Market, JetBlue, and other brands looking to ride the wave of interest will be successful.

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About the Author
E. V. Perkins Jr. is a marketing and new media specialist in the Milwaukee-area. Learn more about him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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