Kulula Airlines

The web is maturing, SaaS business models aren’t new anymore. As a marketer, it’s harder to create differentiation than it was 5 years ago. So how do you create differentiation in a maturing industry?

Why not look to an industry that’s extremely mature – airlines. Not just any airline, Kulula Airlines, a quirky upstart from South Africa.

Compare Kulula’s “flight attendant speak” to that of a legacy carrier like United, American, or Delta. Which airline would you rather fly?

“To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised.”

“There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing.. If you can light ‘em, you can smoke ‘em.”

“In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are travelling with more than one small child, pick your favorite.”

“Your seat cushion can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments.”

“Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted.”

So next time you’re struggling to create differentiation, try a little humor. Most webapps and SaaS companies still have boring auto-reply emails, dry website copy, and stale marketing videos.

If the airline industry – which relies on safety and security to the Nth degree – can inject humor into their daily operations with success, it’s a no-brainer for the more relaxed web industry.

The real question is why so few internet companies embrace humor’s marketing power? Any great examples we can learn from?