marketing campaign gone bad, sigh.


Scoot created what could be a potentially good marketing campaign – World’s Longest Virtual Flight – where participants who registered would get a chance to win $20,000 and a year worth of free flight tickets with Scoot.

How it works: 

1. Interested participants had to go on Scoot’s Facebook app to register. Teams are allowed, though it seemed like not all team members need to be registered.

2. At 8pm, Scoot will post a link to the app. Participants are given about an hour to “board” the virtual flight. The contest starts at 9pm.

3. All you need to do to stay in the game is to click the circle at the end of a countdown timer. After clicking it successfully, the countdown will start again and the game goes on. Participants get dropped out if they’ve failed to click quickly enough. At times, there would be “turbulence” and when that happens, participants will have to wait for “turbulence” to be over and the countdown timer will resume.

4. The duration of the game simulates a flight from Singapore to Sydney – 16 hours. It is expected that at the end of the 16 hours, there will only one participant left, who will emerge as winner.


Scoot created A LOT of hype for this contest. The concept was exciting, and most importantly, the prize was very attractive. I really like the angle they’ve taken with promoting this contest (see one of their ads below) and spent quite a bit of time surfing their facebook page to see all the facebook posts they had.


In all, I think they were quite successful in generating the hype needed to create a positive brand image for themselves. As soon as I saw this, I urged Jon to participate. Given that he is a gamer at heart, and is really really good at games, I couldn’t think of a more perfect person for this. Jon was immediately all hyped up about this – who wouldn’t want $20,000 and free flight tickets! Knowing that this was an endurance game, he called up a few of his friends to participate in this together. Our confidence levels and excitement levels were sky high! We even got a roster all sorted out to last the whole 16 hours, and more.

At 8pm sharp, Jon set up his laptop, used the LAN cable and attempted to “board” the virtual plane. He managed to “board” quite quickly but when the Youtube video started playing, an error soon came up. He refreshed the page, and GONE. It was only after a nerve wrecking half hour that he managed to “board” again. Everyone was commenting furiously on Facebook though, as hundreds of other people could not “board”. They extended boarding time by half an hour – our virtual flight was delayed (lol).

Ah well, we were still extremely excited anyway, confident that we will emerge as winners. In the meantime, coffee and water was prepared for the ride and as the contest neared the start point, we all gather at the computer, eyes glued to the monitor.

“5……4…….3…….2……1”, we chimed.

“Click here to stay in the game”. We clicked and got through – YES!

Then, in the middle of the screen, a large circle appeared. In the middle was the countdown timer starting from 120. Since we were staring soooo hard, we noticed that the countdown timer was not consistent. Sometimes, it was fast, and sometimes, it was slower. Nevermind that, again…

“5……4…….3…….2……..1”. we chimed.

The screen hanged for a bit. We held our breaths.

The screen came up and we were in Turbulence. “okok nevermind. we are still through”, we consoled ourselves.

Although it was just a static screen, we were not at all complacent, eyes still glued to the screen. Pretty quickly, from what I remember, the screen changed, the circle with the countdown timer was greyed out and still loading. In a split second it said something like…

“You’ve failed to click and have been dropped out of the game.”

WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTT????????????????????????????????????? Our hearts sank.

It was the end.

We checked Scoot’s Facebook page and it seemed like many other people got dropped out as well. Everyone was FLAMING mad since many people had made leave arrangements, arrangements to take care of their children, some even booked into a hotel so they would be undisturbed.

Sigh, sigh, sigh!!!

Sorry, Scoot. You scooted us out from your contest and I guess many of us will be scooting you out of our lives. Bye, now.

One thought on “marketing campaign gone bad, sigh.

  1. I cannot agree more. Fly Scoot has had a bad reputation for being inefficient especially their January debacle where passengers were stranded.

    This virtual flight campaing of theirs could have been stress-tested in many number of ways. For them to come out and fail after generating such a big hype simply shows that the company has extremely poor planning. The fact that they cannot even give an interim response quickly shows a lack of coordination among the higher management.

    i would not sit on this flight henceforth until i see a rather drastic improvement in their organizational operations. Still it will be interesting to hear what thie manement will have to say about this virtual flight failure.


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