Please Hand All Trashed Marketing To Flight Attendants
February 7th, 2019 – Sure, some couples’ “how did you meet” answer involves being on a plane, but rarely do they include a Diet Coke napkin as a central part of the story. The Coca-Cola company and Delta are now apologizing after playing matchmaker for travelers by giving out napkins that encouraged them to give their name and number to their “plane crush.”
The Diet Coke napkins have the brand’s signature look along with a message to passengers:
“because you are on a plane full of interesting people and hey…you never know.”
If 22-C looks like someone you’d swipe right on, you can simply pass your napkin across the aisle. The in-flight assists have space for a name and phone number as well as a word of encouragement.
“be a little old school. write down your number and give it your plane crush. you never know…,” the text reads.
The napkins have been accompanying flyers’ precious pack of pretzels for the month of January but gained national attention when travelers began posting photos two weeks ago. After tweets calling the branding “creepy AF” took off, plenty of other people sounded off on the carbonated crush.
Hey @Delta and @CocaCola These napkins are creepy AF. Pretty sure no one appreciated unsolicited phone numbers in the ‘good old days’ and they sure as heck don’t want the number of someone who has been gawking at them on a plane for hours today. Not a good look. pic.twitter.com/PJAiurFRMh
— ducksauz (@ducksauz) January 21, 2019
— Mike J (@MJJoe) February 1, 2019
Other people found the initiative cute, funny, and on-trend with Valentine’s Day right around the corner. One Twitter user even shared her own story of meeting someone on a plane while praising the two companies.
@Delta @CocaCola I friggin LOVE these napkins. How anybody can find this genuinely creepy is beyond me. I once met a guy on a plane and we ended up in a 6 month relationship…and it all started with a smile and a…number…on an airplane napkin #Delta #CocaCola pic.twitter.com/3Wg7YMjelp
— Juliet Jones makes stuff up for a living (@IreallyamJuliet) February 7, 2019
This isn’t creepy–it’s cute! I get numbers and notes on napkins and I’ve even given mine out a time or two…it’s a cute marketing idea especially before Valentine’s Day.
Delta, Coca-Cola apologize for ‘creepy’ napkins after passengers complain https://t.co/b7dKLfo08O #FoxNews
— bets (@jet_set_bets) February 7, 2019
— Sarah Johnson (@SarahJohnsonPR) February 7, 2019
For Coca-Cola’s part, they issued an apology and assured customers that the napkins would no longer be passed out on flights.
“We sincerely apologize to anyone we may have offended. We worked with our partners at Delta to begin removing the napkins last month and are replacing them with other designs.”
Delta echoed similar thoughts – acknowledging that napkin matchmaking wasn’t their best move.
“We rotate Coke products regularly on our aircraft as part of our brand partnership, but missed the mark with this one,” the airline wrote. “We are sorry for that.”
Airlines are no stranger to controversy, but Delta may be thankful that the crisis communication cavalry wasn’t called in the way United did back in 2017 when a passenger was forcibly dragged off the plane.