Henry Grabar is a staff writer for Slate’s Moneybox and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.
Qantas Airways' new literary marketing strategy.
You've got a long flight coming up. Will you take this occasion to finally get started with Infinite Jest, and risk merely scratching the surface, forcing yourself to start all over again on your next flight? Or humbly bring along a short story from a magazine, and find yourself with hours to read Skymall?
This may or may not be a real problem, but it has a real solution: Australian airline Qantas's new literary advertising campaign, for which they commissioned works of fiction whose reading time corresponds exactly (or at least, as close as possible given variable human reading speeds) to particular flights.
The campaign is the work of agency Droga5 Sydney, which according to AdAge, calculated average words-per-minute speeds, and factored in time for bathroom and meal breaks on longer flights. The subjects of the books are intended for Qantas's "readership," which tends to be male. Hence: thrillers, non-fiction, and crime.
Top image via AdAge. HT BI Getting There.