Given how much anti-VoIP, no calling from the skies GoGo has made to date to support American Airlines and other no-call policies I guess some may be surprised about the upcoming Oprah call via Skype.
Aircell which is the company behind GoGo promotes the VoIP capabilities to their private jet/non-commerical customers all the time. They make big bucks from that, and it's the lions share of their business for now. GoGo is just starting up, and Aircell will do whatever it takes to gain market traction and stay ahead of the competitors in the space who are also racking up wins with airlines like Southwest opting for another provider.
So I guess the next time we all fly on Virgin, we can all make Skype calls? Not. This is a pure promotional stunt. In my view the winner here is Skype, flat out. They get to be the service that did it (even though I've done a Livestream.com video test with Ken Rutkowski and my staff late last month and used other tools to make Skype calls as tests for research purposes.)
But what's at play here is a double standard. For someone like Oprah who has been a front runner in all areas of equality, and Virgin, whose brand founder Richard Branson has been too, it's a display of marketing hype. For Oprah it's about audience building. For Virgin America it's about promotion. For Skype it's about being the brand of choice.
Good for Oprah. Good for Virgin. Great for Skype. But this is not good for the part of the flying public who would like to make calls from the skies, see their kids go to sleep at night, or wake up, or simply blow someone a kiss using Skype while the GoGoGo and Fly the Friendly Skies.
In my book, it's simply a double standard.
As a marketer I don't see anything wrong with the hype efforts. As a communications professional though involved in reputation management however the last thing anyone would want is to be accused of setting double standards. That just won't fly.