There’s not much to laugh about when it comes to airline travel during the holiday season, but Fox is trying to change that with the marketing campaign for its new airplane comedy, LA to Vegas.
The network has launched a holiday-travel-themed campaign for the new comedy, premiering Jan. 2, about the crew and passengers who fly every Friday from Los Angeles to Las Vegas via budget airline Jackpot Airlines, and return home on Sunday. The campaign’s centerpiece, launching today, is a trio of spots spoofing in-flight safety videos, airing on the comedy website Funny or Die, in which the cast—including Dylan McDermott, who stars as the egotistical Captain Dave—present tips, in-character, about flying on Jackpot Airlines and visiting Las Vegas.
The first “midflight” video debuted today, featuring McDermott’s Captain Dave sharing “Just the Tips” about Las Vegas, which he calls “the filthy side-piece of cities.” His advice about navigating the city includes, “Don’t underestimate the strip club buffet, If you’re go to the pool the next day, that food poisoning can really bring out your abs.”
Two other videos will roll out over the next week on Funny or Die, leading up to the show’s premiere. In the “pre-flight” video, the Jackpot Airlines crew welcomes passengers to the flight. “We appreciate you spending your hangover with us,” says Captain Dave. The third “in-bound” video features the entire Jackpot Airlines crew dispensing Vegas-themed advice.
“This is such a unique show and we knew we had to promote this as a loud, hard, funny workplace comedy set in a totally original office, which is an airplane. So we really leaned into that,” said Fox Television Group CMO Shannon Ryan.
Because LA to Vegas’ executive producers include Funny or Die founders Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, the network thought the comedy site would be an ideal partner for the in-flight video campaign.
“It’s part safety video, part Vegas tips, part hangover cures, all in that funny, sardonic voice of the LA to Vegas crew,” said Ryan of the spots, which will live on Funny or Die but be promoted via Fox and the show’s social accounts. LA to Vegas’ writers contributed many of the lines in the in-flight video spots.
In another travel-themed part of the campaign, the show’s Twitter feed has been reaching out to frustrated users Tweeting about their bad holiday flight experiences, and is offering them advice and LA to Vegas promotional items, including travel socks and custom cocktail kits.
“The timing is perfect,” said Ryan of the Twitter engagement with travelers. “It started at Thanksgiving and is ongoing through premiere, and we’re really engaging with people who are frustrated by holiday travel, in the voice of LA to Vegas. We worked with our in-house social team as well as the writers, to come up with some great lines to hit back travelers with some funny lines in the tone of the show.”
Fox’s entire LA to Vegas campaign is built around the holiday air travel season. Earlier this month, the network premiered the show 35,000 feet in the air, in a Jackpot Airlines plane that flew from LA to Vegas, with McDermott staying in character as Captain Dave the entire time.
However, the comedy’s early January debut was less about piggybacking on holiday travel and more about Fox’s attempt to replicate the success of The Mick’s debut at the same time a year ago. “This felt similarly, tonally edgy and funny. The thought was, let’s put it in the same time where we premiere The Mick, since that worked last year for us,” said Ryan. “But we’ve leaned into the holiday travel of it all.”
The network has installed LA to Vegas creative elements at LAX, JFK and Las Vegas’ McCarran airports, and has partnered with wi-fi provider Boingo to offer free wi-fi and make the pilot episode available to travelers in 35 airports, including LAX, JFK and Chicago’s O’Hare.
“We know that the pilot plays so well, so we thought that making it available ahead of time for sampling to help create some chatter and buzz would be a smart move for this show, and we tied that into the airport theme,” said Ryan.