6 December 2013 | In order to connect and engage with ever more experienced, connected, and informed consumers, who routinely ignore the commercials and ads thrown at them, airlines around the world are becoming more sophisticated in their marketing activities and are finding new ways to break through the advertising clutter. As such, we are witnessing the birth of many creative campaigns from airlines, be it experiental, social, mobile, digital or traditional media initiatives.
Airline Marketing Benchmark Report
Airlinetrends.com and SimpliFlying have teamed to produce a premium monthly Airline Marketing Benchmark Report, which features the most innovative marketing campaigns recently launched by airlines around the world. Each month’s report contains 15 new case-studies that inform and inspire airline marketers and creative agencies how other airlines are making a difference with their marketing-communication campaigns. So far, we have published 16 editions, reporting on over 200 airline case studies.
Clients that have subscribed to the monthly service include LAN, Turkish Airlines, Qantas, Etihad, AerLingus, Boeing and Google. Learn more »
Innovative campaigns in 2013
To recap 2013, we have selected half a dozen innovative marketing campaigns launched by airlines in the past year that in our opinion do a great job connecting with today’s mobile and connected consumers who are looking for engaging experiences.
1. Airlines embrace their inner tech-geek
One of the hardest marketing messages to convey is that you are current and understand the market, with Silicon Valley favourite Virgin America being one of the best examples. Recently, airlines such as Delta, American, and British Airways are embracing their inner-geek to stay ahead of the trend-curve and cleverly positioning themself as geek-chic, showing up at conferences such as TED and SXSW and originizing travel hackatons. Read article »
2. BA digital billboards interact with aircrafts flying overhead
BA has custom-fitted digital billboards with surveillance technology that detects and activates the billboards when the airline’s flights pass overhead. Located in in London, when the billboard ‘detects’ a BA flight flying below the clouds that is visible to passers by, a child starts running, pointing up to the sky – chasing the airplane. Read article »
3. AirBaltic’s BalticMiles app rewards frequent fliers for burned calories
BalticMiles’ new ‘Burn The Miles’ app offers rewards to frequent fliers who jog enough to burn off the same number of calories as miles they have flown. Passengers are challenged to match every mile they fly with a calorie burned in the space of 24 hours after they land, tracked using the smartphone’s built-in accelerometer. Read article »
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Special thanks to Daniel Baron, LIFT Strategic Design
for spotting the Delta ‘Flight Therapy’ brand space
26 November 2013 | In order to connect and engage with ever more experienced, connected, and informed consumers, who routinely ignore the commercials and ads thrown at them, airlines around the world are becoming more sophisticated in their marketing activities and are finding new ways to break through the advertising clutter. As such, we are witnessing the birth of many creative campaigns from airlines, be it experiental, social, mobile, digital or traditional media initiatives.
Delta ‘Flight Therapy’
Delta Air Lines, possibly the most active airline when it comes to incorporate so-called ‘brand spaces’ such as its Sky360 Lounges, in its marketing mix, held a ‘Delta Flight Therapy’ sensory experience pop-up event in Otemachi, one of Tokyo’s business districts. The purpose-built space was set up in front of an office building between 23 and 25 October.
Inside, visitors could try out the fully flat bed installed in the airline’s business class on 747-400s. The Delta Flight Therapy module sported an organic, futuristic ambience, including mood lighting by Izumi Okayasu Lighting Design that changed dramatically in both color and intensity. Ambient background music was produced with Koone, a high resolution sound system developed by Victor Entertainment.
The pop-up space also gave visitors a chance to experience Arobalance, a relaxation aroma developed by Australian company Air Aroma. Each visitor received a sample of the fragrance.
Tokyo is a major hub for Delta, with daily flights to cities in the US and Asia.
Delta ‘Photon Shower’
Delta earlier this year also showcased its renewed focus on sleep at the annual TED conference. The airline hosted a talk from Oxford neuroscientist and sleep expert Dr. Russell Foster addressing jet lag and demonstrated his research in action with a so-called ‘Photon Shower’ – a small light chamber that conference attendees could enter for a short period of time to help reset their body clocks through a personalized light treatment.
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This case appears in the December 2013 edition of the Airline Marketing Benchmark, a monthly report by airlinetrends.com and Simpliflying, which identifies the latest innovative marketing capaigns recently launched by airlines around the world. Learn more »
21 November 2013 | British Airways has worked with Ogilvy’s digital arm 12th Floor to custom-fit digital billboards with surveillance technology that detects and activates the billboards when the airline’s flights pass overhead.
Located in Piccadilly Circus and Chiswick in London, when the billboard ‘detects’ a BA flight flying below the clouds that is visible to passers by, a child starts running, pointing up to the sky – chasing the airplane. The billboard then updates to reflect the flight details, like “BA flight 475 from Barcelona”, along with a URL ba.com/lookup. Onlookers can then go online and view destination details and ultimately make a booking.
The flight messages are accompanied by other relevant messages to the flight, that will also help promote the points of difference the airline offers, such as ‘Fly the new A380 to Los Angeles. ba.com/lookup’, or details such as the lowest fare available or the temperature at the destination.
Abigail Comber, British Airways’ head of marketing, said: “This is a first, not just for British Airways but for UK advertising. We all know from conversations with friends and family that we wonder where the planes are going and dream of an amazing holiday or warm destination. The clever technology allows this advert to engage people there and then and answer that question for them. “We hope it will create a real ‘wow’ and people will be reminded how amazing flying is and how accessible the world can be.”
The online video of the billboards in action has now gone viral and has already amassed 750,000 in less than 10 days, becoming an advert in itself. It has been supported by a microsite and the hashtag #lookup.
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By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com
13 November 2013 | Istanbul’s startup sector, known as the ‘Digital Bosphorus’, is thriving. As Wired reports this month: “Along with this shifting attitude to failure, Istanbul’s successes have encouraged younger generations to seek entrepreneurial success, resulting in strong software and gaming sectors emerging in a city best known for e-commerce. Venture capital is also emerging.”
‘Invest On Board’
So when Turkish Airlines wanted to promote its country’s technology and Internet start-ups, it decided to do something different. The airline’s new ‘Invest On Board’ program streams pitch videos from startups to the in-seat screens of passengers in Business Class, providing participating startups with a captive audience for their pitches [video here].
Or as THY puts it: “Invest on Board is a one of a kind opportunity for investors flying Turkish Airlines Business Class to invest in hand-picked startups. Finding the next big business has never been so effortless.”
Participating startups in the first batch of IFE pitch videos include home accessories e-commerce site Dekoreko, commerce platform Ganipara, and dating service Pembe Panjur. Startup companies can apply via the ‘Invest On Board’ website for a chance to be featured on Turkish Airlines’ IFE system.
Read full article »
This article appeared earlier on Future Travel Experience
10 November 2013 | Improving the passenger experience at the security checkpoint has proved to be a feat almost impossible to achieve at US airports, but a new pilot programme at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport could finally pave the way for a more relaxing security experience.
‘Next Level Experience’
The airport has partnered with SpringHill Suites by Marriott, SecurityPoint Media and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on the ‘The Next Level Experience’ – a three-month pilot that aims to provide a more calming environment for passengers at the TSA checkpoint.
Lounge seating and screens displaying real-time waiting times have been installed at the entrance to DFW’s Terminal E, E18 security search zone, while ambient lighting, stylish decor, wall art, and relaxing music have been implemented in the queuing area. Once the passenger has completed the security process, they can re-pack their belongings in a comfortable ‘re-composure’ area, which features furnishings from SpringHill Suites.
James Crites, Executive Vice President of Operations at DFW Airport, said: “This enhanced checkpoint gives our passengers a next level experience when it comes to security screening. Wait times are automatically calculated and displayed on monitors and audio messages replace the need for TSA officers to shout instructions, and security messages are available to guide travellers throughout the screening process.”
Ken Buchanan, the airport’s Executive Vice President of Revenue Management, added: “Airports want to deliver a positive experience for passengers from the moment they step out of their car all the way to the boarding door, and screening checkpoints are a major part of that passenger experience. We want to lead the way in making passenger screening a positive encounter, while maintaining the highest levels of security.”
Read full article »
1 November 2013 | In order to connect and engage with ever more experienced, connected, and informed consumers, who are demanding dynamic, real-time conversations and updates from brands they love and follow, airlines around the world are becoming more sophisticated in their marketing activities. As such, we are witnessing the birth of many creative campaigns from airlines, be it experiental, social, mobile, digital or traditional initiatives.
Airline Marketing Benchmark
Airlinetrends.com and SimpliFlying have teamed to product a premium monthly Airline Marketing Benchmark Report, which features the most innovative marketing campaigns recently launched by airlines around the world. Each month’s report contains 15 new case-studies that inform and inspire airline marketers how other airlines are making a difference with their marketing-communication campaigns. The current November report is the 15th edition in the series and if you haven’t subscribed yet, you’ve already missed out on over 200 great airline case-studies! Read full article »
This branded sports lounge case appears in the November 2013 edition of the Airline Marketing Benchmark, a monthly report by airlinetrends.com and Simpliflying, which identifies the latest innovative marketing capaigns recently launched by airlines around the world. Learn more »
21 October 2013 | Soccer’s huge popularity in much of the world and its fast-growing following in Asia have made it a magnet for international carriers looking to raise their profile. Over the last few years, airlines from the Gulf Region, in particular, have been using using soccer to build their brand names and reach a broad audience. Emirates has been sponsoring major soccer teams such as Arsenal, Paris St Germain, AC Milan and HSV in its major markets of the UK, France, Italy and Germany, while the airline at the end of May signed a five-year shirt sponsorship with Real Madrid. Meanwhile, Etihad has been the main sponsor to Manchester City since 2009. while Qatar Airways shows up on the jerseys of FC Barcelona.
Emirates ‘brand space’
As part of their sponsorship of Real Madrid, Emirates at the end of September 2013 also opened a branded VIP Lounge at the team’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. The 375 sqm lounge, modelled on the cabin design of a Boeing 777 – which currently serves the Dubai-Madrid route – can host around 200 guests on match days. Interior features such as windows and space illumination aim to mimic the experience of walking through an Emirates aircraft, and the ‘brand space’ features imagery of Emirates’ on-board experience, global network, and promotional images.
Expected to host over 6,000 guests every season, the Emirates Lounge is open to invited guests an hour before and after matches and visitors can relax before, during and after games in comfortable seats, consume food and beverages and watch the action on large plasma screens.
Delta 360˚ lounge at Stamford Bridge
The Emirates Lounge at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium follows a similar initiative by Delta Air Lines at London football club Chelsea.
Following Delta’s announcement to become the official airline of Chelsea FC, the airline in September 2012 opened its first ever SKY360 lounge outside the U.S. at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge home stadium in London. In the lounge, the airline hosts VIP guests of oficial Delta partners on matchdays, providing a Delta-branded experience through features such as airline-style tickets that invite attendees to ‘check-in’ for matches, while a LED-lit runway leading guests to a dedicated entrance to watch football games. The 108 square metre SKY360 lounge includes a dining area and full service bar and is located in the attached Millennium & Copthorne Hotel at Stamford Bridge. Accessible for hotel guests and visitors on non-matchdays the lounge is expected to receive 250,000 visitors each year.
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The Disney ‘Planes’ Airport Drive-in case appeared in the September 2013 edition of the Airline Marketing Benchmark, a monthly report by airlinetrends.com and Simpliflying, which identifies the latest innovative marketing capaigns recently launched by airlines around the world. Learn more »
2 October 2013 | Airlines around the world have been busy aligning themselves with Disney’s latest film ‘Planes’ to help co-promote themselves and the movie. American Airlines was the first carrier to screen ‘Planes’ on its IFE system and the airline is even featured with their new livery in the film itself (video here). In Australia, Disney partnered with Qantas to conduct the first official Australian screening of ‘Planes’ on a Boeing 767, mid-air.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport x KLM
In the Netherlands, KLM and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport have teamed with Disney to organize the screening of ‘Planes’ in a specially created ‘pop-up’ 3D drive-in cinema at the airport on September 28th ahead of the official launch of the movie in the Netherlands on October 9.
Billing itself as the first airport in the world that is used as the location for a 3D Drive-in cinema, Schiphol cleared the upper deck of one of its parking garages, including the removal of lamp posts in order to avoid bright lights hindering the movie goers. Set against the backdrop of the airport control tower, a heavy crane lifted the film screen and along the side of the parking deck were colourful lights, stalls selling beverages and chips, and mobile toilets. Video of the event here.
The visitors – 100 winners (and their friends and family) of KLM’s ‘Create Your Own Plane’ contest – had to drive up to the garage upper deck with their own car. They then were directed to their spot by Schiphol and KLM staff just like planes arriving at the gate. Equipped with 3D glasses and a newspaper, the movie-goers enjoyed ‘Planes’ from the inside of their car with the sound beamed to the car stereo via a radio frequency that was specially made available for the event.
According to Paul Sluis, Brand Manager B2C & Social Media at KLM, the initial ‘Create Your Own Plane’ campaign attracted 8,000 participants. The 100 participants who managed to attract the most online votes for their virtual creations were invited to the drive-in cinema experience.
On October 2, KLM also gave 300 kids the experience of a lifetime. The lucky kids were invited to a spectacular pre-screening of ‘Planes’ on board of a real airplane Besides the popcorn and beverages which made the kids already extremely happy, KLM created an even more unique environment: world’s first movie experience in and around a plane using special effects by recreating the world of Planes in a live setting. This made it an unforgettable experience for the kids. Video of the event here.
17 September 2013 | Food trucks have already been used by Air France and Austrian Airlines to market their airline food to potential travelers, and now the Arlanda Foodtrucks scheme is offering customers a taste of the cuisine available from restaurants at the airport of the Swedish capital.
Stockholm Arlanda Airport has spent the last 12 months revamping its food offerings to passengers traveling through the facility. In order to raise awareness of the new cafes and restaurants furnishing the airport, the company is taking samples of the cuisine available on the road using food trucks.
Charging a standard price of SEK 65 (EUR 7.50, USD 10) a meal, the vehicle will visit multiple locations around Stockholm and keep customers updated of its whereabouts through its own website. The airport hopes that those who sample the dishes will make sure to leave enough time to dine upon their next visit.
The food truck is an innovative way for the airport to market an important new aspect of its business, without waiting for customers to use its core service first. Are there other ways that enterprises can develop mobile versions of their business to get directly to new customers?
By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com
31 July 2013 | Heathrow Airport has created its first ever food guide, Food on the Fly, in conjunction with restaurateurs and MasterChef judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace, who have turned their critical gaze on the 73 restaurants, bars and cafés which operate at the airport. The two are among the UK’s best-known food experts and serve as the main judges and presenters on TV competition MasterChef.
The Food on the Fly guide provides a comprehensive overview of dining options at Heathrow, with reviews of the airport’s 73 bars, cafes and restaurants. It also features specially formulated top fives and a breakdown of the eateries by terminal. There are also tips about the type of foods to eat or avoid before flying for those looking to travel well. “It’s often hard to show the full extent of our offering so it’s been great working with John and Gregg to produce this comprehensive guide,” said Ben Crowley, head of food and beverage at Heathrow.
Appointed to their roles in May as the airport’s official ‘taste buds’, Torode and Wallace were tasked with eating their way around the airport in 80 plates to better understand the airport offering and to set Heathrow a challenge to push the boundaries of airport dining [see video].
The restaurateurs have also challenged the airport’s food and beverage experts to introduce healthier menu choices across the terminals, to create a platform to champion British culinary talent and more small plates for people to enjoy with a beverage. The airport said it has committed to responding to these challenges towards the end of the year.
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By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com
25 July 2013 | Being high-traffic locations with a diverse and international mix of consumers, brands see airports as an interesting setting for marketing campaigns. We have reported before how consumer brands are teaming up with airports to offer passengers free, branded, airport amenities such as charging zones, video and music rooms, and gaming stations.
This summer, consumer brands such as Heineken, DE and Google are using the airport as the scene for experiental and digital marketing campaigns.
Heineken ‘Departure Roulette’
Earlier this month, Heineken and its ad agency Wieden + Kennedy in New York set up a board at New York’s JFK Airport 8 and dared travelers to play ‘Departure Roulette’ —changing their destination to a more exotic location.
Travellers who happened to pass by Terminal 8 were given the opportunity for an adventure of a totally different kind, and asked to exchange their current plans for new ones. Those who decided to take the challenge were then asked to press a red button on a billboard showing them their destination. Participants had to agree to drop their existing travel plans—without knowing the new destination first—and immediately board a flight to the new place.
Those who were spontaneous enough to brave the unknown were rewarded with exotic destinations such as Morocco, Thailand and Cyprus. They were also given USD2,000 for expenses, along with two free hotel nights for their trip. Video of the campaign here.
The game is inspired by ‘Dropped’, a new Heineken webisodes campaign that launched a month ago from W+K Amsterdam in which four men are sent to remote destinations and film their adventures.
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Delta invites passengers at London Heathrow to test their table tennis skills against Serena Williams
This Delta Air Lines sports marketing case appears in the July 2013 edition of the Airline Marketing Benchmark, a monthly report by airlinetrends.com and Simpliflying, which identifies the latest innovative marketing capaigns recently launched by airlines around the world. Learn more »
26 June 2013 | Taking a cue from the likes of Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways and Etihad, which all have invested heavily in sponsorships of major sports such as soccer and basketball to create brand recognition among the general public, Delta has teamed with major baseball league teams in the USA and earlier this year opened a Sky360 lounge inside Stamford Bridge stadium, home of British Premier League soccer team Chelsea FC as part of a wider sponsorship agreement.
In a fun gesture to passengers leaving from London Heathrow Airport on June 18, Delta surprised travellers flying out of the airport’s Terminal 4 by offering them the chance to test their table tennis skills against none other than defending Wimbledon Champion Serena Williams, who had just arrived from JFK on an overnight Delta Air Lines flight on her way to the 2013 edition of the tournament. Video here and more images here.
With the surprise appearance of the current number 1 of woman tennis, Delta aimed to showcase its renewed long-haul Business Class product with fully flat beds and new Westin Heavenly Bedding. Says Tim Mapes, Delta’s SVP for Marketing, “We’ve gone flat-out to give customers a great night’s sleep on board our flights into London, and Serena’s form today shows that Delta’s BusinessElite flat-bed seats ensure customers arrive rested for a day’s work or play.”
2 June 2013 | Nike Mexico’s Subasta de Kilometros campaign has already offered runners the chance to use their tracked miles to bid on sports equipment. Now, the Burn The Miles app is using a similar idea by giving rewards to frequent fliers who jog enough to burn off the same number of calories as miles they’ve flown.
The app was developed by communications agency MRM for airBaltic’s loyalty program Baltic Miles, which rewards frequent fliers with points to exchange for flight tickets and products and services at partner businesses depending on how far they’ve traveled.
Those downloading the app are challenged to match every mile they fly with a calorie burned in the space of 24 hours after they land, tracked using the smartphone’s built-in accelerometer. If they manage to do so, they will be able to win further prizes. The program encourages those whose work requires them to sit on aeroplanes for extended periods to reserve some of their free time to exercise.
23 May 2013 | In today’s world of non-stop information and endless social network notifications, it’s hard to find the time to concentrate on just one story, never mind finishing a full-length novel.
The Netherlands’ VertragingsApp has already encouraged train passengers to discover short story authors based on their delay time, and now a new project has created a range of fiction titles for customers of Australia’s Qantas airline, selected to correspond with flight times.
Titled ‘A Story For Every Journey’, the project is a collaboration with Sydney-based ad agency Droga5. The campaign used statistics from publishing house Hachette to discern that the average reader can finish around 200 to 300 words – or one page – each minute. Taking into account time set aside for meals and naps, customers should be able to read the books in exactly the time it takes to set off and land.
The range was selected while keeping in mind the airline’s Platinum Flyers demographic – mostly male customers – meaning they suitably span the thriller, crime and nonfiction genres. Penned by notable Australian authors and stylishly designed by UK-based agency Paul Belford, the airline is hoping to attract an upmarket audience by offering the novels on its extended flights. Video of the campaign here.
Given that airplanes are one of the few places where use of electronic devices is actually discouraged, the books could take off with those who fly regularly. Are there other ways to tailor literature to different reading environments to help consumers rediscover the novel?
By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com
20 May 2013 | Eindhoven Airport, the Netherlands’ second-largest airport, has embraced social media technology in a novel way by offering a select number of its Facebook fans several perks when they fly via the airport.
Anyone who likes Eindhoven Airport’s Facebook page and is due to fly from it can sign up to its ‘VIP’ scheme, and two fans are selected each month from the pool of entrants. The ‘VIP fans’ can then enjoy the benefits of one free airport meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner – flight-time dependent), fast-track security screening, personal accompaniment and free parking at a designated Facebook-marked spot in a prime location near the terminal entrance point.
The Eindhoven Airport Facebook VIP programme sign-up process is straightforward. Once the airport’s Facebook page has been ‘liked’, there’s a simple form to complete, requiring users to input their name, date of birth, email address, telephone number, the number of people travelling, the date of travel and the relevant flight number. Video of the program here.
Social media presence
In the past 7 months, Eindhoven Airport has added over 11,000 fans on Facebook and with the Facebook VIP scheme the airport wanted to do something in return for its online fans. Says Eindhoven Airport’s CEO, Joost Meijs, “Eindhoven Airport is working very hard on its online presence, with regularly the highest engagement rate on Facebook of all Dutch airports and the sixth position in the list of most popular check-in spots in the Netherlands. With a rapidly growing number of Facebook fans the time was right for us to offer our fans something extra.”
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