How soon is now?

Culture in a 24 / 7 world

Delta Needs A Chief Culture Officer

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The airline industry has had a pretty rough go of it for a little more than a decade now, at least back to 9/11. Fuel costs, security, bankruptcy, consolidation, foreign competition… the list of challenges goes on. In addition to that we’ve certainly see a full assortment of self-inflicted wounds as carriers impose and administer draconian rules have seen the famous and the ordinary complain loud and long. Without even thinking hard, I can recall United Breaks Guitars, Kevin Smith, Jet Blue on the tarmac, the crew member who flipped out, you get the idea.

One bright spot, was the little bit of magic Delta airlines caught with their in-flight safety video:

 

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Nothing amazing, just a little finger wag. Now normally, you can’t get people who are actually on the plane to watch these things, but this video has 2.7 million views. To me, this was perfect for Delta. It gave a brand that has little to no personality just a bit of humanity. Nobody thinks of Delta as having a sense of humor or an irreverent style. That territory is owned by Virgin. See, their in-flight safety video looks like this:

 

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That’s what I would expect from Virgin. But now, Delta has decided to try and capitalize on the magic they caught by doubling down on the funny. Check out these new in-flight safety videos:

 

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Well, that feels more like Southwest Airlines than Delta. It’s not exactly over the top, but I’m not sure I want that much humor in my safety video. At least not from Delta.

Apparently I missed the memo, but a some point Delta decided they were going to take a run at a position change and be the fun(!) airline. This got post back in the spring:

 

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For me flying is a hassle, and yeah, even a little scary. Faux hilarity is not something I’m looking for. Extreme competency? Yes. Compassion? Yes. Choreographed dance moves? No.

Delta – please just be what you are: A stand-up brand that does what it’s supposed to do with a little heart.

 

Disclosure – My agency, Y&R, does work on behalf of Virgin Atlantic.

 

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