Marketing at 30,000 feet

Marketing at 30,000 feet

The past decade has seen a dramatic increase in the number of travellers and airlines on the map. The intensification of competition and recent safety concerns have forced airlines to reinvent their marketing strategies. Intrigued by how airlines are keeping flyers tuned in, Creative Culture took a look into what innovations they have come up with over the past year.

“Gamify” a campaign
APAC accounted for 82% of the global gaming market growth in 2014. Earlier this year Air France successfully tapped into this market with their release of ‘Cloud Slicer’. The aim of the game was to slice as many clouds as possible within a given time frame. Travellers flying to Paris from Jakarta, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo were encouraged to play the game; high scores were then displayed live at boarding gates, increasing the level of engagement. The lucky winners received an instant upgrade. The campaign promoted their new business class cabin by getting customers involved, thirsty for a test run.  

A personal touch
Who doesn’t like receiving a bespoke service? Banking on the fact that most travellers appreciate that extra bit of TLC; Tam Airlines created a personalised on-board magazine for each passenger, travelling from São Paulo to Milan for the route’s 35th anniversary. Using content from Facebook each ‘oWn board magazine’ was tailored to the passengers’ interests and hobbies, including a personalised front page with name and portrait.

On average passengers only spend 3% of their on-board time reading these magazines; however, on this June 2015 flight, engagement escalated to 1,200%. The Brazilian airline demonstrated how effective combining media platforms and customisation can be.

An experiential experiment
Taking the saying literally, South West airlines went ‘above and beyond’ to do the unexpected.

When flights reached 35,000 feet famous musicians gave an inflight concert as a part of a promotion for Tennessee tourism. The airline offered their travellers something different, a unique on-board experience.

With the rate of change it is imperative for companies to stay on trend by updating and refreshing their campaigns. Some airlines demonstrate how riding on the success of films, games or current trends can be an efficient way of ensuring that campaigns are relevant and engaging. 

As New Zealand is home to Tolkien’s hobbits, Air New Zealand made the most of the hype around the release of the final film in the trilogy. In 2014 they released this hobbit themed safety video.

Similarly, Turkish airline Pegasus piggybacked on the success of the latest Marvel’s Avengers film, released in April 2015.

The airline imaginatively incorporated the superheroes into their safety video, having their travellers experience something out of the ordinary.

What appears to be a 21st century testament to success is viral status. To modernise their safety video Delta Airlines showed how resourcefulness can lead to great things.

The video featured characters from some of the most watched YouTube videos as passengers, flight attendants and pilots. Combining humour and nostalgia, Delta Airlines ingeniously created a video with internet memes.

All in all, these airlines have demonstrated how simplicity and engagement are key. The main focus is to know how to appeal to the audience, excite them, fascinate them and inspire them.

Combining media platforms, livening up the delivery and getting customers involved are universally vital to increasing engagement.

This piece was by Rebecca Latimer. Read more from Creative Culture in our Clubhouse.