Royal Jordanian Addresses A Different “Fear Of Flying”

Over the past year I don’t think there’s an airline that has taken a more political stance than Royal Jordanian. So far their approach has been mostly humorous. For example, leading up to the US election last year, Royal Jordanian put out an ad encouraging people to travel to the US while they’re still allowed to.

RJ-1

They didn’t stop there. This February they published an ad with the tagline “Ban Voyage.”

RJ-2

Apparently this has proven to be a great marketing technique for Royal Jordanian, as they claim bookings to the US increased by about 50% following these ads, as more people became aware of the airline.

Well, Royal Jordanian has just released their latest ad, and it has a much different tone. It’s not humorous, but rather takes a more serious stance to what’s going on. It’s a roughly minute-long video, and asks the question “are you afraid of flying?” However, the video isn’t about an actual fear of flying, but rather… well, give it a watch, and you’ll see:

While not as funny as their other ads, I think this is a great ad that serves a purpose and has a powerful message. Well done!

(Tip of the hat to phize)

Comments

  1. Good job Royal Jordanian! This is a real and serious issue and should have been addressed a long ago.

  2. Hey Lucky – I agree it’s a great ad, but what is the positive message here? It might be semantics, but I think the message is a constructive one. And one of perspective.

    To me, the intended audience should be those who were depicted in this ad as the ones who stared. What they depict here is a different perspective and an old saying: “the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”

    Rather than stare, people should reach out, engage by simply saying hello. What if more of us did that when we fly? Stares only reinforce barriers; time to break them down.

  3. @ Kelly — Bad word choice on my part, you’re absolutely right. Updated the post — thanks.

  4. Speaking about nice ads (hey Pepsi…) though not travel related, there a new one that Heineken has put out. Two people with different standpoints about some specific subject (climate change or transgender people) invited to talk about it over a beer.

  5. Well done Royal Jordanian! A fantastic ad sending a clear message that many more companies should be stepping up to convey.

    I only wish US carriers would be this clear.

  6. FYI – I travel a lot and this is most noticeable when travelling in the US – I think though a lot of it comes down to lack of experience with diversity, general lack of “let’s put this in perspective” thinking, and media/tv conditioning over the last 15 years. I think it is interesting that this was less noticeable in the years after sept 11 than it is now.

  7. Given the number of recent incidents of people kicked out of planes because someone else was not comfortable, I always worry about this whenever I travel domestically in the US. I’ve travelled a few segments in the past 2-3 years and so far never had an issue, no stares – at least not that I’ve noticed – no issues. Actually I felt most people were friendly and sometime curious when they learn I’m not from the States, except of course for some legacy carrier FAs who have a general contempt towards the traveling public, and the constant 2+ hour delay of AA flights.

  8. That’s a terrific ad, thank you for this post, as I would never have seen it!

    The Donald lookalike giving the hateful demented Donald-esque stare at :28 would give the creeps to anyone.

    “While not as funny as their other ads…”

    It’s not funny at all, and nor is it supposed to be. It sends a terrific message, and every word in it is true.

  9. I don’t like the insinuation that UC Berkeley grads are racist. It’s like 60% Asian!

    What about an OLE MISS hat instead?

  10. stvr, you’re an idiot.
    Let’s see how the racists at Cal treat the visitors from Ole Miss in September compared with the way the visitors from Cal are treated in the Grove in 2018. And yes, I’ll be there on 9/16/17, but sans Confederate flag.

  11. So, Muslim countries who ban Israeli stamps and passports are not practicing discrimination? This is ridiculous. Muslim violence is a reality. When was the last time you had a Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. blow-up a plane, stab or drive a truck into a crowd of innocent people? The Muslim community has to own their problems before things finally improve. Portraying themselves as victims is reprehensible. Muslim countries (Chechnya) place LGBT in concentration camps.

  12. Ricardo – What was the religion of Timothy McVeigh? How about Dylann Roof? As the signs at the anti-Trump rallies said, I can’t believe I’m still protesting this shit. I suggest you learn something before revealing your racism and your ignorance in a public forum.

  13. Outstanding ad by RJ! Kudos to them! My sympathies to those who simply refuse to “get it”!

  14. snic,
    Thank you for your comment.
    OK, did you know the Hashemite rulers of Jordan force Palestinians to live in refugee camps, never allowed to acquire Jordanian citizenship no matter how many generations live in the country? Is than not discrimination? Never addressed the banning of Israeli citizens form Muslim countries. Not discrimination? Have you lived in the Middle East? I have. For quite a while. Oh no, you watched a documentary, or have previously made up your mind that it is all the Republicans’ fault.
    Screwballs like McVeigh and Roof (both avowed atheists) are not hailed as heroes by the average Christian or American. People who blow up planes, stab, and run over people in those countries are revered a martyrs, and often, their families are supported indefinitely with government funds due to their “heroic” actions.
    Things do not happen in a narrow vacuum. I am pointing out the manipulative hypocrisy of these ads. Jordan is not a tolerant Democracy, no matter how you try to couch this. The Hashemites rule with an iron fist. My point is, prejudice, discrimination and irrational hate exist on both sides of the fence. Excellent visual production, good photography and fine writing and editing do not make up for the fact that we have a problem, and the world is a much more dangerous place, and, as shocking as it might be, it is not the Republicans’ (or Democrats’) fault.
    Just trying to present an alternative viewpoint.
    Or you can ignore my whole diatribe because I am not going along with the fluffy, cuddly stuff.

  15. Agree with Ricardo- ridiculous that countries that “strive” for non judgmental flights ban Israeli citizens in their countries…hypocrisy at its finest. There is a clear problem with Islam and terrorism.

  16. @Ricardo
    While I agree with you that many Middle Eastern governments are highly discriminatory, it’s still inappropriate to blame the sins of a few on every member of a group. There are plenty of Muslims who condemn violence, and they are, indeed, victims of this sort of discrimination. Additionally, even people who are guilty of discrimination themselves can still suffer from discrimination, the whole point of discrimination is that it’s not based on the characteristics of the individual, but rather, the characteristics of the worst people in a group. It’s cliche, but two wrongs don’t make a right. Suspecting everyone of Arabic descent or every member of Islam of wrongdoing doesn’t do anything to change Middle Eastern governments or moderate the violent fringes of Islam, or even stop specific incidents. All it does is increase anxiety all around, and create additional problems.

  17. Recardo and Schar’s are well informed about the subject, espcially when they bring up the ban on Israeli people. Never mind that israeli citzens can travel to Jordan and there is an Israeli embassy in Amman 🙂

    Oh wait, but then there was a man who tried to drive his truck through the crowd, and one billion people should be held accountable.

    Or there is some crazy country which holds LGBT in concentration camps, and one Billion Muslims should apologize for that.

    I’m sorry, but you guys are ignorant. The issue of terrorism is very complex, often political or socio-economic at heart, but it’s very easy to just forget about facts and analysis, and jump to conclusions; islam = terrorism. Ignorance is a bless, so keep staring when you see that brown guy boarding the plane!

  18. Wow, what a fantastic and powerful ad. Thanks for sharing Lucky!

    This seriously makes me want to fly them! So refreshing to see intelligent, socially and politically conscious ads, and for a company (esp one based in the ME) to call out the obnoxious bullshit pervading the US and the world with someone like Trump as president. He is destructive and divisive and it’s great to see it publicly called out by companies, not just political commentators.

    And lol yes to the :28 trump dopleganner, well done RJ!

  19. What’s the best way to find award availability on RJ? Between their killer marketing and Tiffany’s trip report it’s really climbing up my destination list.

  20. Wow, I didn’t realize that Royal Jordanian has decided that all white people (like me) are hard core racists. I think I’ll fly with a different airline if I visit Jordan. But after watching that racist video from their national airline I think I might visit countries where I feel more welcome, and leave Jordan off my bucket list altogether. Thanks, RJ, I appreciate the travel warning!

  21. @ Charlie, I agree with you, you should stay out of Jordan. It’s not ‘Murca, no FOBs or US bases there, I doubt you could handle the conditions there. Just stay in the good old USA with your red MAGA cap. It’s a dangerous world out there, Charlie, people get hurt outside ‘Murca. Really!

  22. Interesting ad, but narrow in scope. I’ve been to countless places where I was the only Caucasian present, I’ve gotten – felt – those stares. Looked at with the same suspicion or unwelcoming glance, it happens to all groups.

    I do agree with Kelly above me. Many times all it took was a humble smile or a greeting in the local language and the ice was broken. Then there were times that did not work and I had to try to keep a low profile and hope nothing untoward happens.

    Some interesting comments, now I have a clearer idea of who here would be turning in a EUROPEAN math professor writing out math equations because they thought he was an ARAB writing terrorist plots in ARABIC.

  23. @Charlie McMillan, really? All white people? So, let’s say, the ad shows 5 or 6 people with that kind of attitude. Are you suggesting the aircraft carried a total of 7 passengers? And clearly you weren’t watching close enough. The ad includes people other than “white people”. If anything, it sort of makes the point that every kind of people can be prejudiced, which, in fact, is true.

  24. What does he say the first time he says “I’m afraid of….”? I get the second one: “Afraid of being stuck in a place with people who look at me differently”. But I’ve seen it 5 times and still don’t get the first part… it’s not his English, it’s actually mine. Thanks!

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