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American Airlines: Make Your Kid Happy

Posted by Rosepixie on May 2, 2010

This is an ad for American Airlines that I came across in one of their in-flight magazines.

I think that this ad is a little odd.  The image is a picture of a kid at an aquarium overlaid with what appears to be search results from their desktop application.  Since the kid has nothing to do with the desktop application, I have to assume that they’re trying to tell us that taking vacations will make our kids happy and is something a good parent does.  That’s great and all, but it’s not really a message that’s related to their desktop application.

The only connection I can think of is perhaps they think that parents are more likely to be more interested in finding low priced air fares than the average non-parent and more willing to download a desktop application to do so when they could just use any number of services to find such air fares that are free online and require no downloads.  I have to wonder how true that is.

In my experience (which is, admittedly, far from useful data, since it’s subjective and selective), since parents are often looking for good deals (especially since they have to buy more tickets than adults traveling without kids) they are more likely to shop around – check different airlines, perhaps different potential departure and arrival airports, etc.  Which makes the travel websites that search many airlines and let you easily change the departure or arrival points probably match their needs better.

And those services are clearly what this application is competing with.  Which actually makes me wonder why it’s a downloaded application instead of a website service.  I know that I think a lot more about downloading something than about using an online service that is basically a specialized search engine.

This is an oddly touchy-feely ad for what is effectively a search engine you have to download.  I can see why American Airlines went with this kind of advertising, but I think that perhaps they would have been better off with more of a hard-sell kind of ad that explained why this application is especially useful or powerful and should be used over a travel website that offers similar features.

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