Virgin America and Gogo Inflight WiFi have partnered with mobile business networking app Here on Biz on a cross-marketing promotion that offers up free flights to entrepreneurs with the perfect pitch.
The promotion first encourages fliers to download the application, and then to use the app while at the gate or on the plane, using Gogo internet in-flight to network with nearby business connections, both new and current.
Of particular note here is that the Gogo integration means that the networking app can use phone geo-location in a way that wasn't available prior, thus bringing geolocated networking to 30,000 feet.
The promotion continues with a social media component, asking travelers to "make their perfect #planepitch" to their dream seatmate. This can be to anyone anywhere - as long as they are on Twitter.
Entrepreneurs must compose their perfect pitch in 140 characters or less, tag it #planepitch, and then tweet it to your dream seatmate. The company will then sort through the stream and pick the winningest pitches. Entrants can also use the footer on the promotion's website to send the tweet.
Winners may have the chance to pitch to their dream entrepreneur in real life as part of the promotion. From the marketing copy:
Might it be a one-on-one with a start-up strategist, a leading venture capitalist, or your favorite billionaire industrialist, your wildest networking dream could land you a seat on a Virgin America flight with a chance to make your perfect #PlanePitch to your entrepreneur of choice.
Judging occurs on two equally weighted conditions, half of the score to creativity and half on "Fit to Contest Theme" of providing a 140 character tweet to an ideal seatmate tagged #planepitch.
Weekly winners will receive a complimentary Gogo in-flight pass, and on March 27th, one grand prize winner will be selected to receive Elevate Gold status, complimentary Gogo passes and 6 business flights on Virgin America.
This is a shining example of the power of cross-marketing. By combining these three brands, the promotion is greater than the sum of its parts. Here On Biz wrangles new app downloads and more usage; Gogo shows off new applications and utility of their installed technology; Virgin America re-trenches their brand positioning as the airline of choice for startups and the tech community.
This is a very real opportunity for a dream pitch on a Virgin America flight - a transformational opportunity that is so much more valuable to society as a whole than simply winning a free flight. The opportunity to make a dream come true - and build or accelerate a company - has a real and lasting impact on the world.
And of course, there's no saying how many of these tweets might actually connect with their intended targets. Should high-profile entrepreneurs embrace the stream of tweets heading their way, some might actually lead to real-world deals. A marketing win, all around.
NB: Virgin America image courtesy Shutterstock.