JetBlue set up an all-digital-looking window display on Sixth Avenue in New York one weekend in mid-May, surprising a couple thousand people who happened to walk by. There was a huge, fully functional touchscreen that incorporated what looked like a state-of-the-art avatar of an airline stewardess giving instructions to people when they approached.
For example, she initially said to each person, "Hello. Welcome to the JetBlue experience. Please select a topic to get started." There were a handful options, and the seemingly robotic flight attendant would offer helpful information after people made their selections. But then, she would comment on something particular about each individual like what they were wearing.
A hidden camera captured people's reactions when they realized the avatar was an actual person—a real-life JetBlue stewardess—who would sometimes leave the window display, come outside and give them complimentary flight vouchers. She had 100 vouchers to give away, and people who engaged with her most were the lucky ones who got them.
The effort also served a digital-research purpose; JetBlue recorded the topics selected on the touchscreen interface as most important to participants. For instance, twice as many people chose legroom compared with other JetBlue features.
All told, the brand generated 2,600 interactions, and it put together a video with snippets from several of them.