$4.5M Brand Lesson in Social Media


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Remember the JetBlue TV ad that ran during the Super Bowl? No?

OK, how about the one leading up to the Big Game? Can’t recall that one either, huh.

Well, that’s all right, because there weren’t any. Nevertheless, JetBlue still taught all of us a valuable lesson during Sunday night’s game – and that’s how in today’s marketing climate, listening on social media can often trump traditional advertising.

From Sunday night’s game, one Super Bowl ad that most viewers likely do remember is the “Like a Girl” campaign from Always. JetBlue noticed it too, which resulted in the brand quickly sending out this tweet:

Fly #LikeAGirl
Fly #LikeAGirl

That message was a clever way for JetBlue to join the national conversation via social media. However, not everyone online approved of the tweet, which is a dynamic that makes social media such an interesting terrain for brands today.

Twitter User Questions #JetBlue
Twitter User Questions #JetBlue

As it turned out, JetBlue wasn’t just posting online during the game. It was listening too. And as a result, the company quickly came back with the answer to the question: 5%, which is higher than the industry average. Adding to its credibility, JetBlue also linked to its own blog post on that very topic from 2014, which allowed the brand to further educate the online community and engage with them.

JetBlue also wasn’t the only one listening. Remember Always, which launched #LikeAGirl? Well, it decided to also get in on the ongoing conversation and what happened next was pretty cool as brands online were, wait for it … being social.

Brands and consumers engagement on social media
Brands and consumers engagement on social media

Famed CMO (and sock aficionado) Ted Rubin often asks at his keynote presentations, “What makes a bad social media strategy? Answer, not being social.”

JetBlue was indeed being social by listening and having conversations with other brands, customers and consumers during the Big Game.

While the airline may not have spent $4.5M on a Super Bowl ad, JetBlue still demonstrated a solid brand experience, clear understanding of social media and good financial stewardship.

And did it all while flying under the radar.

Brian Walker, CEO
Brian Walker is the Chief Executive Officer of AE Marketing Group and host of the award-winning Brand Lab Series™ Podcast with today’s most innovative brands, including Bosch, Deloitte, IBM, RXBAR®, Accenture, and P&G.Recognized by Inc., Forbes, Branding Magazine, Ad Age, The American Marketing Association. Modern Healthcare, and more, Brian helps executives build brands beyond traditional advertising to improve customer experience, product development, and revenue.


  1. Thank you Michael and you are so correct – Many brands talk about social media, but few are actually being social. I love that Oreo example and it’s one I cite often as not only was it a great SMM execution, but helps illustrate how the legacy brand is transforming itself today. Have a good day! BW


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