There are companies that run inspired promotions, like Nike's partnering with Colin Kaepernick. Some are nutty, like the Diesel promotion that basically told people to rip their brand off.

And then there's the new JetBlue Instagram promotion, which is floating off in the air for better and most certainly for worse.

Many people are attached to their social media accounts. Sometimes they are personal statements. Other times, the owners are pushing personal branding or a business. JetBlue wants you to leave all that behind by literally wiping your feed and turning it into a promotion for the carrier.

The contest is called All You Can Jet. Three grand winners get free airfare for themselves and a companion for a year (a taxable $20,000 estimated value, according to the promotion's rules).

To enter, you--the future social media billboard--are supposed to either totally wipe out everything you've had or archive it (which looks to be a laborious post-by-post process according to Instagram's help system, to say nothing of restoring each one afterward). Then it's time to make yourself the perfect corporate citizen.

JetBlue wants to promote its "JetGuides," a series of insider tips collected under themes like "All You Can Taco." You create a post using their tool by uploading a photo you took and coming up with a clever way to fill in the blank in "All You Can ____." You're also supposed to add #AllYouCanJetSweepstakes and @jetblue, because this is a genuine, bona fide viral promotion. You've got until March 8, 2019 at 9 a.m. eastern standard time to enter.

Again, there are three grand prizes and ... nothing else for anyone. It's either a grand prize or not even a customized cap, a travel bag that nicely fits under the seat, or that taco. Well, for entrants, that is. However, when you turn your Instagram account into their plaything, they can use the results, whether you win big or not.

What's really crazy is that JetBlue points out if you don't have an Instagram account, it's free to create one. But there's nothing saying you can't have more than one. So, if you don't mind people using your photography to benefit their brand with nothing going to you in return, create a second account with a different email address and enter away--only one entry per person. Although, if you opened multiple new email accounts, how would they know if you used different photos and there was no info listing the owner embedded in the image?

Prizes are awarded based on a "random drawing from among all non-suspect, eligible entries received up to the time of such cancellation or in another manner otherwise deemed fair and appropriate by Sponsor." Lots of wiggle room to delay someone's departure. From my reading of the rules, by the way, if a flight's overbooked, you could find yourself bumped. If you miss one of your flights, it's a $150 fee plus no more flights until you pay up.

Time asked JetBlue about the multiple account aspect. The company admitted that it's fair game, but a spokesperson said that it's "not as much fun."

Neither is losing.

Since you can add another account, it would also mean that all of the hundreds or thousands or however many followers you have wouldn't see the promotion, cutting the value I'd think.

But, hey, it's all about the fun.

Published on: Mar 4, 2019
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