Authenticity With Twitter Can Go a Long Way

It was reported in the National Post this morning that Alec Baldwin was kicked off a flight for not turning off his wireless device when he was asked to.
  • “He was on his phone. He didn’t want to get off his phone. Then he snuck into the bathroom, he became a little bit irate, and they had to remove him from the flight,” another passenger said.
The 30 Rock star, who I personally find hilarious at his craft, went on tilt on twitter afterwards:

 American Airlines twitter account replied:

If the early reports from the Post story are accurate and Mr. Baldwin was clearly the one in the wrong, that was about the most unauthentic reply we can ever see.

American Airlines has its problems, but what I would've done (with my marketer hat on today) is the exact opposite. I would have replied that FAA rules call for cell phones to be shut off at a certain time, and that we as customers abide by those rules when politely asked. When we don't, we're pitched off a flight no matter who we are.

I'd probably immediately start a web ad campaign; something along the lines of:
  • American Airlines, where the 1% is treated like the 99%. Thank you for turning off your cell phones when asked
In the cutthroat world of travel, authenticity resonates because the competition is out to get you. Interestingly enough, in racing it's not quite that way. We depend on other tracks for signals, we depend on slots for purse money.

We won't anytime soon see an ad running outside a racino saying:

"You Realize You Are Gambling at a Game That's Impossible to Win At, Don't You?", with a picture of professional horseplayer Mike Maloney

We won't see Charles Town run an ad saying:

"Santa Anita hiked your takeout. At Charles Town we respect your financial situation in these tough times, so we lowered ours. Join us!"

We'll be having a look at twitter and harness racing this weekend in Harness Racing Update. It's a story, and a medium that gets more and more interesting. I hope you'll give it a read.

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