Thursday, May 27, 2010

How motivating can a free snack be?


Passengers boarding a recent Horizon Air flight from Seattle to Portland were treated to some free snacks courtesy of Creative Labs, a consumer-electronics company. In addition to chips, pretzels, and chocolate, the branded boxes also contained messaging directing consumers to text, email and check the company website to enter a contest and receive additional rewards.

The Seattle to Portland route was specifically selected based on the knowledge that fliers of that route tend to be techies, making $100,000+ a year. (Bush, 2010)

Do you think they’ll bother to check out the sponsor? Or will the only winners be the airlines who no longer supply food, and the snack manufacturers, who may pick up some new customers via sampling?

Bush, M. (2010, May 24). Ad-Supported Food Lands on Horizon Air Flight. Retrieved May 26, 2010, from


  1. I suppose a *really* bored passenger might quickly check out a website using his/her laptop or handheld device, but then again, how bored could one be during a short air-hop from Seattle to Portland? The packaging would really need to catch the eye of the passenger. After all, how often does one read the print on a package containing peanuts or shortbread cookies?

    --tom f.

  2. I can't find a solid reason why techies making 100,000 + a year would be interested in receiving toys from an online crackerjack box. I feel that people making that particular level of income need a higher level of stimulus to engage their interests. I do think the snack manufacturers will pick up a few new customers if the snacks tast good.

  3. I'm with Tom here, unless the packaging was so great that they couldn't resist looking it up. After checking out the website and seeing what they're seems like it might've been better marketing to let the passengers 'play with' some of the products on the flights instead. Techies like toys! Most are probably working on the plane, though I guess a few might check out the site during the flight.

  4. I think it's a good idea that definitely couldn't hurt Creative Labs. I think it's smart to try and capitalize on the fact that passengers appreciate a free snack on flights now more than ever, so why not be a sponsor and market your company? They did the necessary research for the consumer they are most interested in reaching so they can't really loose. If nothing else their name will become more none over time (provided that they continue this strategy.)It's one of those situations when you just don't know for sure but it's worth a try.