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Drag superstars sashay down the (airport) runway


Innovation of the Day: Jet Blue

US airline JetBlue partnered with RuPaul’s Drag Race, the reality competition series for drag queens, for an array of initiatives in honor of Pride Month. JetBlue released a safety video featuring renowned RuPaul’s Drag Race winners Bob the Drag Queen and Trixie Mattel, set to be aired in-flight this fall. The airline also renamed one of their Airbus A320s Shantay Blue Stay, a take on RuPaul’s famous ‘Shantay, you stay’ line in the show. Meanwhile at JFK airport the T5 terminal featured an interactive traveler experience showcasing iconic moments and costumes from the show.

When it comes to celebrating Pride, this definitely beats the rows of generic rainbow-ified storefronts. But even if you lack a jet (or a JetBlue-level budget) to play with, there are ideas here that you can use:

Mean it. JetBlue has a history of celebrating and supporting the LGBTQ community: the airline was among the first to support SIGBI (Stonewall Inn Gives Back) when it formed, has had a JetPride group for LGBTQ employees since 2012, supports the New York Gay Men’s Chorus, and more. The lesson here? If you’re going to associate yourself with a progressive cause, then make sure that move is coming from an authentic and deeply-felt place – and consider a commitment for the longterm. Consumers will be easily recognise bandwagon-jumping or brands that say one thing but do another. Google recently showed their commitment to LGBT rights by creating Stonewall Forever, a memorial that will live online for years to come.

Defeat your inner saboteur. Each season, RuPaul doesn’t just seek out the queens with the most charisma and talent. He also seeks the ones who push themselves beyond self-doubt and go beyond their boundaries, which RuPaul often dubs conquering the ‘inner saboteur’. Can your brand apply this lesson? Is there something in your internal culture holding you back from being the best you can be? What’s your brand’s inner saboteur, and how can you conquer it?

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