JetBlue’s ‘Election Protection’ adds levity to campaign season

As partisan anxiety ramps up in the period leading up to a major election, some brands have found ways to inject a bit of lightheartedness into the weighty moment. In 2010, as the U.K. prepared for a general election, IKEA’s website presented “kitchen designs inspired by our would-be PMs”; e.g., the design for Brown, dubbed Brün, was “durable and prudent for the economically conscious.” 7-Eleven has been running the “7-Election” for four presidential elections in the U.S.—a concept it’s also taken to other markets—with coffee buyers choosing cups based on their candidate of choice. “Get your steaming hot cup of democracy,” says the website, which displays current results (favoring Obama at present).

Now JetBlue is jumping into the fray, inspired by the frequently heard comments about leaving for another country if one’s candidate loses. With the “Election Protection” promotion, the airline is giving away 1,006 round-trip international flights to partisans disappointed by the election results. People indicate their preferred party online and are entered into the sweepstakes only if that candidate loses next month. “Live free or fly” is the tagline in a spot that shows people on the street vowing to take off if the election doesn’t go their way. With consumer concern heightening as polls predict a close election, voters will welcome a little levity, if not a chance to really escape if the worst-case scenario comes to pass.

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