#QantasLuxury Helps Teach My Students About Failing!

Australia’s leading airline seems to intent on digging itself deeper and deeper into a pit at the moment. Since it’s not very geeky, we’re not going to be getting into all the disputes with unions and flight cancellations that have dominated the news. Instead we’re going to look at their more recent failure – the #qantasluxury debacle.

A toothbrush? For me?

Here’s what happened: facing a losing PR battle Qantas stumbled upon the fantastical idea of using this new fangled social networking marlarky to run a competition! Said competition involved the public tweeting what their ‘luxury Qantas flight experience’ would be, tempted to participate with the grand prize of an in-flight first class kit – you know, the thing they give out to first class passengers for free.

As far as combination of challenges and prizes go, it’s crummy and insulting. Tell us what ‘luxury’ we provide is good and we’ll give you the same mass-produced crap we give our GOOD costumers every day anyway! Fortunately for us, those silly boys and girls at Qantas created a public forum for us to share our sarcastic responses and it rapidly became a national news item.

This is where G-Funk the teacher comes in. As a media teacher it’s important to keep kids up to date with new media technologies and trends, not just what they have offer us but the risks and limitations that come with it. Sometimes it’s difficult to find real world examples that are appropriate for younger audiences, and most teenagers hear so warnings about ‘the horror of Facebook’ that they’re largely indifferent to how quickly things can go wrong even for a major company.

I am grateful to Qantas for this opportunity! Yesterday we were able to discuss why the ‘prize’ indicated little understanding of their target demographics, track how rapidly the social networking experiment was taken over by the public, debate the pros and cons of the medium and get involved! As a class we sent our own #qantasluxury submissions and delighted in seeing them appear under the trend moments later.

We’re part of something bigger now!

So thanks Qantas, for failing hard enough to become a cautionary tale!