JetBlue becomes the latest big business to do something stupid on social media, and this one was a whopper: The airline company promoted themselves by referencing one of America’s first and most well known air travel disasters.
The tweet in question was this:
The “bluemanity” line is a reference to radio broadcaster Herbert Morrison, who was broadcasting the landing of the Hindenburg blimp in 1937, when the blimp burst into flames on a field in Lakehurst, New Jersey. The disaster killed 36 and helped to bring about the “end of the airship era.” Overcome with emotion while watching the blimp burn, Morrison cried, “Oh, the humanity!” on the air, which quickly became the signature line associated with the disaster.
As a general rule, you don’t want to use the tragic deaths of three dozen people as part of a marketing campaign. That rule is magnified when you consider that both the Hindenburg and Jet Blue are actually engaged in air travel. Not really too sure how this one got through!
Regardless, Jet Blue realized their mistake, deleted the tweet and apologized:
Moral of the story: 36 people dying is not marketing fodder. Glad we cleared that up.