Car vs Plane: A Surprising Result

The 1.8-mile runway at Avalon Airport, located southwest of Melbourne, was the setting for a unique test of innovation, speed and power. It was a battle that put two examples of engineering achievement against one another. A Qantas Boeing 737-800 aircraft vs. a Tesla Model S P90D. The 737 boasts over 50,000 pounds of thrust and once leveled out in the air, it can approach almost 550 MPH, 200MPH shy of the speed of sound. The Model S can crank out 762 horsepower with its two electric engines and can hit 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds. That’s .1 of a second slower then a Bugatti Veyron. Although it doesn’t fly, it’s nice knowing that you have the quickest four door sedan ever built.

Model S head to head with the 737

The Model S launched off the starting line, leaving the 737’s two engines still roaring to life. Plane vs car. Pilot against driver. The Model S is tough to catch on the start but the gap is narrowed as the 737 storms down the runway. Both the Model S and 737-800 travel neck and neck as the 737 reached take off speed of 140 knots (160MPH), roughly the same as the Model S’s top speed of 155 MPH. The shadow of the 737 began to cover the obvious earlier winner on the ground. The Model S was only overtaken at the last moment when the aircraft did what it was designed to do: fly.

Aside from seeing who would win, what was the point of this runway duel?

Australia’s airline service, Qantas, and California based electric automotive manufacturer, Tesla Motors, are starting a partnership to drive innovation for their customers and sustainability in the transport industry. In the upcoming months Tesla and Qantas will introduce the following services and benefits for their customers: Exclusive Qantas events for frequent flyers that allow the customer to check out new Tesla vehicles and technology, Qantas club membership for Model S owners, Tesla Powerwall connectors at Qantas valet facilities in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, allowing Model S and X owners to charge while they travel. Furthermore, Qantas will be Tesla’s airline of choice in Australia and will offset all of Tesla’s domestic travel emissions as part of “Qantas Future Planet Program.” Meetings will occur regularly between both companies to explore future opportunities regarding sustainable transportation.

In an interview with Alan Milne, Qantas’s Head of Environment and Fuel, he stated “Both of our companies are passionate about continuing to push the boundaries of customer service, innovation and sustainability in the transport industry. We’re huge admirers of the way Tesla has transformed the electric car sector as a premium brand and we look forward to sharing our understanding and advance the work we started in 2012 on biofuels as an alternative to jet fuel. What better way to celebrate working together than having a unique race – car vs. plane”

I take it Milne doesn’t watch Top Gear very often if he is referring to this as a “unique race” but none the less, a brilliant video!

Watch the video here:


Comradery at 40,000 ft.

Late in February, an unexpected event occurred on jetBlue flight 603 from Boston, MA heading towards Phoenix, AZ. At 40,000 ft, 150 passengers found themselves participating in jetBlue’s “Reach Across the Aisle” campaign right out of the blue, ha, get it? Everyone aboard the flight was given an offer they most likely hadn’t received before. One free round trip flight to any of jetBlue’s 80+ destinations, domestic & international. BUT, there is a catch. All passengers must agree unanimously on the destination they want to travel to.

The election spirit engulfed the cabin – 40,000 ft. above sea level.

A look inside the cabin

Passengers were given blue and red paddles to indicate their preferences of destinations. Passengers were also encouraged by the spokesman and cabin crew to “reach across the aisle” and negotiate with surrounding passengers to help come to a consensus. Passengers were found migrating towards the front of the plane and using the intercom to broadcast why one destination would be the best choice. It was a fantastic example of how random individuals come together to form a common good.  

At the end the choices were narrowed down to two destinations, Costa Rica and Turks and Caicos. What the passengers did next was something that isn’t seen occurring very often in Washington D.C – compromises were made for the common good to resolve turbulence. Costa Rica was the final destination selected with a 150 to 0 vote (what a shame, Turks & Caicos). JetBlue’s passengers came together as one, and received their tickets for a once in a lifetime trip! America!

This campaign was crafted by MullenLowe, jetBlue’s long time advertising partner. Each flight ticket costed roughly $300 and with the additional price of paddles, this campaign was just over $45,000. In other words, well worth it simply judging off the waves it created via social media. Additionally, the timing of this campaign couldn’t have been better! It coincides seamlessly with the congressional race. That’s what I call A+ marketing. Thankfully there wasn’t that one annoying passenger who voted for Turks and Caicos just to ruin it for everyone else!  

Watch here on YouTube:


Bowie Points, Audi!

Houston, we have a problem. Audi’s new commercial, “The Commander” was too good! Super Bowl 50 was this past Sunday and I couldn’t tell you if I was more excited for the game or the advertisements. Companies like Heinz and Snickers had already given their audiences a taste of what to expect during the Super Bowl.  Earlier that week they had released previews of their ads prior to the game. Many ads have followed the expected humorous route, making sure it had stayed deeply rooted in viewer’s brains long after the game. That wasn’t the case for Audi.

Audi blasts off into space with the new R8 V10 Plus advertisement! On a serious note, the ad portrays a former astronaut who seems dissatisfied with life. He is unable to rekindle a flame that was once lit during his space exploration. Seen with an absent look on his face, the former astronaut pays no Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 2.04.20 PMattention to the food set beside him. Unaware that car headlights just flickered outside behind him, the former astronaut’s son arrives at his home. “Ok Commander, come with me…” the son requested. A walk outside reveals the R8 V10 Plus in all of it’s glory. As you look into the former astronaut’s eyes you can see the excitement returning into his life. Right before the engine ignition button is pushed, David Bowie’s “Starman” can be heard from a distance entering the scene. Bowie points, Audi!

maxresdefaultAudi’s marketing team made numerous ingenious decisions when creating this ad. The first decision: comparing the R8’s hasty acceleration to the acceleration of a space rocket. From the viewer’s perspective this paints a beautiful picture of how quickly this automobile will bring its occupant’s from zero to sixty. Secondly, this ad resonates on an emotional level with it’s audience. The retired astronaut is only able to experience the power of the R8 due to the son’s concern for him.

To conclude, I believe this advert really hit the nail on the head. Each year, the Super Bowl plays a handful of car commercials but once the Vince Lombardi Trophy is won, TV go’ers walk away remembering no more than a few. Audi did a great job this year creating memorable content that connected well with prospective Audi owners.

Watch the full 1:30 commercial: