April 2011 | KLM has just launched a new social media campaign that invites Facebook users to convert their Facebook profile picture into a Delft Blue tile with an inspiring message. Four thousand of the most inspiring ‘Dutch Delft Blue tiles’ will then be placed on the body of a KLM Boeing 777-200. In KLM’s words: “KLM is proud of its Dutch heritage, in which Delftware played a huge role. Now KLM invites you to create your own Delft Blue tile, add an inspirational saying and you might end up on the body of a KLM Boeing 777-200.”
Delft Blue tiles are part of the Dutch tradition. The porcelain tiles were decorated with typically Dutch scenes, such as windmills or fishing boats. These Dutch scenes were commonly supported by some words of wisdom or an inspirational proverb. For nearly 60 years, KLM has also handed out small Delft Blue ceramic replicas of historical Dutch houses filled with Dutch ‘genever’ to passengers in Business Class.
The emphasis of KLM’s ‘Tile & Inspire’ campaign is on Facebook, but anyone can also create a personal Delft Blue tile via tileyourself.com and Hyves, the largest social network in the Netherlands. The campaign will run until the end of May 2011 and the tiles with the most creative messages will be selected by a jury of native speakers in English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish. The final 4,000 Delft Blue tiles will be randomly drawn out of the selected tiles and be featured on a KLM B777-200 aircraft from June 16 on. See this video for more on the campaign.
Update 10 May: KLM reports that in the first two weeks of the campaign nearly 50,000 people have created a personal Delft blue tile.
KLM Surprise, personalized luggage tags
In recent years, KLM has been very creative in its social media campaigns. The airline has run several ‘personalized luggage tag’ campaigns, inviting consumers to personalize their own baggage label online using their favourite picture. The durable luggage label was then sent to their home or office address. In November 2010, KLM installed a ‘Surprise Team’ at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport that randomly surprised passengers that had checked-in via location-based social network Foursquare with ‘little acts of kindness’. Says Erik Varwijk, Managing Director KLM: “Tile & Inspire is another initiative to inspire our passengers and to actively engage customers around the world, like we did with the successful KLM Surprise and our worldwide luggage tag campaign.”
KLM’s ‘Tile & Inspire’ campaign is a fun example of trendwatching.com’s ‘gravanity’ trend: “As Warhol predicted with his ‘15 minutes of fame’, hundreds of millions of individuals are craving immortality, or at least some public attention. Whether it’s blogging or adorning your car with personalized license plates, the masses want their names out there, even if just for a moment. This is where graffiti meets vanity to form ‘gravanity’.”