Content Delivery: The Alley-Oop


More and more airlines are looking to remove their backseat screens and use passengers tables and smartphones.
One of the greatest moves in basketball in the alley-oop. What in the world of sports is more impressive than one guy heaving a ball at the basket, nowhere near the net, only to have one of his teammates swoop through the air and decimate the rim with a slam-dunk?

Often times, content delivery can be seen like a basketball team passing, moving and positioning the ball around the court in an attempt to score.

As marketers, we think of delivering the rock (content) in a variety of manners. We can bounce pass (email), throw behind our backs (social media), chest pass it (blogging) or even inbound it (digital ads). But we don’t always think about the alley-oop (inflight content) as a method of consistent delivery.

In flight content choices for air travelers have always been limited, and airlines have attempted to accommodate this in the past with screens added in to the upper-storage area or in the seat in front of you. But now, with the combination of tablets, smaller laptops, smartphones and inflight Wi-Fi, content opportunities have increased exponentially.

Southwest and Direct TV have partnered to have on-demand or live content, readily available for passengers connected to the inflight Wi-Fi. This means specific content can be delivered to passengers in the sky and will become an increasingly valuable outlet for content marketers.

The benefits for the airlines are huge—no seatback screens to maintain, lower fuel costs and happier passengers who end up with a better UX, as they will be using their own devices. And for marketers, we get another (more measurable) page in our playbook.

Content marketers shouldn’t just think of the regular passes we make every day. We should really consider what it takes to throw the rock up in the air to give audiences the perfect alley-oop.


Magnani is an experience design and strategy firm that crafts transformational digital experiences to delight users and deliver sustainable competitive market advantages for our clients.


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