Image via Delta Air Lines

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In its June Airline Marketing Benchmark Report, SimpliFlying talked about Delta’s new partnership with ‘socially responsible’ headphones brand LSTN, where LSTN headphones would be offered in the airline’s premium cabins.

LSTN is a company that ploughs its profits into helping the hearing impaired in the developing world through so-called ‘hearing missions.’ In the June report, SimpliFlying commended Delta for doing something unexpected.

A premium cabin passenger wouldn’t give a pair of Bose or B&O headphones a second thought. However, especially given the headphone’s distinctive wooden design however, LSTN is more likely to make them take a closer look.

Delta has now officially launched the partnership through the first ever “silent disco.”

A 90 minute flight took off from JFK on 18 July with 100 music aficionados on board. This included music students from NYU University, LSTN executives and other industry VIPs, journalists and bloggers.

Also on board was DJ Questlove and hip-hop music producer Yameen Allworld, who encouraged passengers to “LSTN up to get down!” via a silent disco. A silent disco is, as the name suggestions, an event where people listen to, and dance to, music streamed through headphones rather than via speakers.

Delta certainly gets full marks for originality in creating and staging this. Aviation blogger ‘The Points Guy’ who was on-board, called it “undoubtedly the wackiest“ press event he’s been to.

The Points Guy did point out that a single aisle 737-900ER wasn’t the most convenient choice of aircraft to have passengers dancing in the aisles in, questioning whether a larger aircraft wouldn’t have made more sense.

Meanwhile Fodors Travel writer Teddy Minford who was additionally on board, says that “things got weird” on the flight:

“Glow sticks appeared out of nowhere. This was turning into a real rave. After one warning from the pilot (“We’re gonna need everyone to keep their feet on the ground while dancing, just to be safe”), things really got out of control.

“The dance was underway. We were jumping on our seats, sashaying down the aisles. There was a mosh pit in the exit row. A couple began making out. People drummed on the overhead compartments.”

In addition to travel blogs and websites, the silent disco was also covered extensively on social media, with a stack of positive reactions to the event on Delta’s own Facebook page.

Key Takeaways

Delta has been a regular in the past few Airline Marketing Benchmark Reports, for doing things that are genuinely new.

While so many marketing campaigns are variations of what’s been done before, Delta has pioneered a series of ‘firsts’, ranging from the first travel-inspired Tinder wall, to the first tray-table art.

The first ever silent disco can now be added to that list. And what’s noteworthy is that Delta didn’t play this ‘safe’ but allowed participants to really get into the spirit of it. It had a realness and authenticity that you don’t often see from corporate stunts and events.

This case study was featured in SimpliFlying’s Airline Marketing Benchmark Report, which showcases the top airline branding strategies each month. Find out more here.