Back in June 2008, a supposedly new airline account landed in the newspapers and across the Web. It touted light blue banner ads in newspapers in Philadelphia, had a Web presence on Philly.com, and cheerily trumpeted its unique policy:
“Pack Less. Weigh Less. Pay Less.” was the slogan for Derrie-Air, the world’s only carbon-neutral luxury airline. Ads stated: “The more you weigh, the more you pay.”
Say what? Consumers were scratching their heads in disbelief. How could an airline possibly charge by the pound? How would they make enough money to buy jet fuel? How could they offer sample rates ranging from $1.40 per pound to fly from Philadelphia to Chicago, or $2.25 per pound for flights from Philadelphia to L.A.?
The name of the airline should have been the first clue. Derrie-Air? What ass came up with that name?
But if you were to scroll to the bottom of their home page, you’d soon realize that this was a fictitious ad campaign, designed “to test the results of advertising in our print and online products and to stimulated discussion on a timely environmental topic of interest to all citizens.” That’s when Gyro ad agency and Philadelphia Media Holdings came clean and disclosed that there’s no such carbon-neutral luxury airline as Derrie-Air. It was a media joke with a wink of the eye and a tongue planted firmly in cheek.