For decades, advertisers were as closely associated with game shows as slick hosts eager to give away prizes. Now, an airline known for nontraditional approaches to advertising is sponsoring a game show with a couple of contemporary twists: It will be played live, and online.
“JetBlue Getaways Presents Get Away With It” is the name of the game show, sponsored by JetBlue Airways. The show is meant to be the centerpiece of a campaign, with a budget estimated at $2 million to $3 million, to build awareness of — and sales for — JetBlue’s vacation package travel service, known as JetBlue Getaways.
The show will be presented on a section of the JetBlue website, at jetblue.com/getawaywithit. Information about “Get Away With It,” and how to become a contestant, went live Monday.
There is also an advertising campaign to promote the show that includes print, online and outdoor ads; ads during the in-flight programs on JetBlue aircraft; ads in JetBlue airport terminals; and even ads embedded in the television program listings offered by cable systems like Comcast.
“Get Away With It” will be streamed live from a studio in New York — not coincidentally, a major market for JetBlue. The show is scheduled to appear five times a day for five days, from June 18 through 22; each episode will run about 15 minutes.
And, yes, there will be a slick host, Mark Hammerberg, portrayed by an actor and writer named Jim Conroy. He promises, in a version of a vintage game-show spiel, that there will be “real people playing in real time” as they answer questions about travel and — in an example of branded entertainment, whereby ads are integrated into the programming — questions about JetBlue Getaways travel packages.
The Hammerberg character, whose name winks at classic game-host names like Wink Martindale, will be as eager to give away prizes as quiz masters like Bob Barker and Monty Hall once were. In this instance, the prizes are vacation packages and certificates for what the character enthusiastically promotes as “the hottest destinations.”
In keeping with a campaign that seeks to transfer the trappings of television game shows to the Internet, there will be what seem like 64,000 elements rooted in new media, mobile media and social media, involving, among others, AdoTube, Appssavvy, Buzzfeed, Facebook, SocialVibe, Twitter, Viggle and YouTube.
The genesis of the decision to sponsor a live online game, said Marty St. George of JetBlue, was a discussion among executives about current “buzzwords” in marketing, which included “gamification,” as in using the designs and mechanics of games to enliven websites.