We airline passengers all hope that, one day soon, we will have our iPads “on” from takeoff to landing. It’s our dream to eliminate the unwieldy system of “on” until taxi, “off” until 10,000 feet, “on” until “off” on final descent, back “on” after landing and re-entering our connected world.
It’s happening. Almost.
A June 2012 revision to FAA code introduced the idea of “viewable stowage” so that pilots no longer have to put up with the on/off conundrum that passengers wrestle with. The viewable stowage provision allows class 1 EFBs (e.g., iPads), devices not connected to aircraft power and mounted only for the duration of the flight, for use in flight without powering up and down.
Major airlines leapt onto this bandwagon and have issued or will issue iPads to their pilots to use as soon as FAA testing (decompression, noninterference, etc.) is complete.
With this uninterrupted connectivity open to the pilots, can passengers be far behind? Can we actually be closer than ever to nonstop sky Tweets, sky searches and sky posts? For marketers, such improved access to the traveling public – while they’re traveling – creates an immediate surge of ideas. Imagine the midflight opportunities for Vegas hotels, restaurants, and rental car companies if they could contact potential customers mid flight with special offers. And it’s all going to happen. Soon. Well, maybe.
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Welcome to SHS UpTake, a blog focused on marketing and communications in aviation, aerospace and defense. Our company, Sullivan Higdon & Sink, has spent over 40 years helping a range of AA&D clients successfully build their brands and effectively promote their products and services. We hope you’ll find that our collective experience uniquely qualifies us to identify and comment on issues that industry insiders will find interesting, engaging and, on occasion, provocative.
You’ll note that UpTake is not a solo act, but a team effort. The contributors make their livings at SHS on our aerospace and defense team, located in Wichita, Kan., and Washington, D.C. Our experience runs the gamut from learn-to-fly promotions to military-engine battles to space-program advocacy campaigns – and virtually everything in between. We’re a diverse bunch, but we share a passion for excellence in marketing and advertising for clients in often-complex industries that are easy to love – for us anyway.
We hope you’ll consider being an active participant in the upcoming discussions. If you disagree with a position we take or a comment we make, we stand ready to defend or amend our point of view. Conversely, if you like something, we invite you to jump on our bandwagon. Either way, we’ll be happy to hear from you.
Come back and see us real soon.
Cleared for takeoff.
U.S. Department of Defense
The precise number of emotions that we human beings experience is somewhat debatable, but folks pretty much agree that practically everyone does, indeed, feel them. Even those whom we don’t usually think of as “emotional,” such as army generals. But business-to-business and business-to-government executives are known to get squeamish when the discussion turns to eliciting emotional response.
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Recently, commercial aerospace giants Airbus and Boeing exchanged a volley of ads aimed directly at each other. Unusual, because in the tech-happy commercial aircraft industry, aircraft specs and performance data typically speak for themselves. Subjective attributes like “tastes great” or “more filling” – and consumer-style potshots at competitors – not so much. And rightfully so. Even stoic airline executives are known to enthusiastically respond to performance improvements, even modest ones. Especially when the savings are applied to large, multibillion-dollar fleets flying millions of miles annually.
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I remember playing with decoder puzzles as a child. You know, the ones where you’d spend hours combing through various numbers and letters in the hopes of discovering the disguised message. I never imagined those early years as a linguistic explorer would come in handy as a working professional. Then I began a career in aviation advertising.
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