American Airlines isn’t exactly doing many big marketing pushes at the moment, since the company doesn’t seem to have a clear message. Rumor has it that American plans to reveal a new slogan soon, though we’ll see if that actually happens.
One area where I’ve given American Airlines a lot of credit is for the quality of their Wi-Fi. The airline has high speed Wi-Fi on virtually all of their domestic mainline aircraft, split between Gogo 2Ku and Viasat. Personally I prefer Viasat, as I find it to be faster and more reliable than Gogo.
American Airlines’ “wifi withdrawal” ad
Recently American Airlines published a hilarious nearly four minute ad intended to highlight the value of inflight Wi-Fi. As American describes it, “don’t let Wi-Fi withdrawal happen to you,” and they note that American has more planes with high-speed Wi-Fi than any airline in the world.
The ad is actually funny, and captures so many different types of passengers:
I love the different passengers they showcase, from the parent trying to entertain kids, to the road warrior, to the influencer.
I also think the feeling is highly relatable. We live in an age where we’re constantly connected, and for some of us there are almost withdrawal symptoms when we get on a flight without Wi-Fi.
The ad is great, but…
To me this ad is legitimately laugh out loud funny, and overall I think American does a great job with Wi-Fi. However, I’m labeling this as “brilliant(ish)” because I’m not exactly sure how this is intended to differentiate American from the competition.
Personally I have a slight preference for American’s Wi-Fi offering over Delta’s (since I like Viasat more than Gogo), and a strong preference for American’s Wi-Fi over United (they’re way behind when it comes to high speed Wi-Fi). However:
- The ad is about “wifi withdrawal,” and virtually all of American’s competitors offer Wi-Fi nowadays as well
- For the “average consumer” (which American largely seems to be highlighting here), Delta offers free in-flight messaging and is publicly working towards free Wi-Fi across the board, while American at least officially isn’t
- JetBlue offers all passengers free Wi-Fi
- When it comes to entertaining kids, Delta’s commitment to seatback entertainment is much more valuable than anything else
- American might have Wi-Fi, but over 100 of their A321s don’t have in-seat power, and they use these on many transcon routes
This Wi-Fi ad from American perfectly sums up the feelings so many of us have when we board a flight without Wi-Fi.
That being said, this seems more like an ad for the progress the industry has made on the whole, rather than something specific to American. It’s not surprising to see American run an ad for it, though, since they don’t otherwise have much product-wise to differentiate themselves.
What do you make of American’s Wi-Fi ad?