The story itself is pretty straightforward. British Airways delayed the luggage of Hasan Syed's father. They didn't lose it or destroy it. They just delayed it. The usual description for this phenomenon is "sometimes airlines misplace luggage." 99-ish% of the time airlines track down the luggage and return it. That's what we understand eventually happened here.
Nonetheless Syed paid $1,000 to promote tweets that, among other things, called British Airways "the worst airline ever." He microtargeted the promotions to New York and London. Two quick things to note, before we get to the part where social media thumb-suckers predictably and promptly soaked themselves in excitement:
1. Let's describe this stunt as what it was: an attack ad that cost $1,000. Fair enough. We think that a cool thousand is too much money to spend on a temper tantrum, but we understand that the rich (some might say the spoiled) are different from the rest of us. That said, who in 2013 still uses the phrase "worst ever?" Except people who are trying to give the impression of stomping their feet like toddlers, of course.
2. The only potentially innovative element of this story is that Syed used an online advertising platform to promote a personal cause. Except that's in no way innovative. It had already been done more creatively way three years ago by this guy, who is actually adding something to society.
Nonetheless it was Mashablea site whose existence relies on convincing middle managers that social media is the future, dudewho turned the tweet into a story. Fast forward a couple of days and there are people inventing new words about this guy.
Here's how we would describe the incident: some guy thought that he was the first person ever to have his luggage delayed, and paid $1,000 to make sure people in New York and London saw him whining on Twitter.
Now here's how a digital design firm describes the incident:
The new social media crisis trend - complainvertising... The future = complaint campaigns... Taking out complaint adverts in newspapers was yesterday’s idea. Today, most people use their personal social network to warn others about poor service. Tomorrow is about masterminding your own complain campaign.
"Complainvertising." It's petulance, self-entitlement, and having too much money, all multiplied exponentially by the narcissism factor that is social media. How creative!
[Screen capture: Jaunted]