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EasyJet lets travellers quess who is the airline’s 10 millionth passenger at Toulouse Airport

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This case appears in the April 2014 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 » 

Tapping into the current nostalgia trend, childhood memories of the globally known ‘Guess Who?’ (a.ka. ‘Who Am I’) game were brought back to life in Toulouse-Blagnac on February 28th, when easyJet created a life-size, live version of the popular board game to celebrate the fact that in 10 years the airline had carried 10 million passengers through the southern France airport.

Situated airside, passengers were invited to get involved in a game to guess the 10 millionth passenger who was hidden in a group of 24 ‘extras’.

The rules mimicked the real-life game, so passengers has to ask questions such as “Does he/she have blue eyes? Is he/she wearing a hat?” etc, in order to eliminate as many of the 24 people with one question.

Those participants who correctly named the mystery passenger after eliminating the impostors were given free flights with easyJet. Video of the event here and more images here.

After the airport event, the airline put a digital version of the ‘Guess Who’ game online (called Enigme A Bord by easyJet France) for 10 days, which was played over 2,500 times on the first day alone.

Delta offers the public the chance to be seated next to a star of the ‘creative class’

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By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

Pioneered by Silicon Valley-favourite Virgin America, more and more airlines are aligning themselves with the creative, entrepreneurial and technology industries and position themselves as forward looking.

American x SXSW
For example, pushing hard to shake off its old image, American Airlines at the 2013 SXSW event in Austin created a #newAmerican ‘brand space’ and together with AT&T organized a hack-a-thon at the event, allowing more than 60 developers to work with American’s travel API for the first time to see what they could come up with to further develop the users experience with the airline.

The event also saw American launch a ‘Napkin Pitch Contest’, where travelers could pitch a business idea to the airline to make the world a better place, all on a simple airline napkin.

Delta  x TED
Meanwhile, Delta has aligned itself closely with TED, the world-renowned gathering of “ideas worth spreading” that has become the go-to event for those thinking different.

In 2011, Delta teamed with TED to generate innovative crowd-sourced ideas to improve the travel experience, called ‘Ideas in Flight’. The program uses curated TEDTalks in social media as thought-starters to inspire their community, across technology, entertainment, design, etcetera. Delta also features TED Talks on its IFE radio channel.

In 2013, Delta showcased its renewed focus on sleep at TED by hosting a talk from renowned Oxford neuroscientist and sleep expert Dr. Russell Foster addressing jet lag. The airline 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.

Delta Innovation Class
Delta’s latest initiative aimed at the ‘creative class’ is called ‘Delta Innovation Class’. In what the airline calls “a mentoring program taking place at 35,000 ft,” Delta has picked a select number of leaders in the field of art, business and technology who will be traveling to select events around the globe during 2014. Delta is offering one lucky person per flight the opportunity to sit next to one of these persons, “to meet face-to-face with some of the world’s most interesting people in a truly unique one-on-one,” as the airline puts it. Read full article »

Emirates ranked as world’s most valuable airline brand

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This case appears in the March 2014 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 » 

Each year, British brand evaluation consultancy Brand Finance releases its Global 500 report, which ranks the world’s most valuable brands by assessing the dollar value of a company’s reputation, image and intellectual property.

The top 4 brands on the global list – repectively Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft – have remained the same for the past two years, while Verizon replaced Walmart on the fifth spot this year.

2014’s top 500 ranking includes six airlines and for the third consecutive year Emirates is regarded as the most valuable airline brand worldwide. The airline finished 234th out of the 500 evaluated global brands (up from last year’s 287th spot) with a a brand valued at USD 5.48 billion, a 34 percent increase on Emirates’ 2013 valuation.

Hello Tomorrow
Equal to its fleet expansion plans (on top of its current fleet of 200 widebody aircraft, ‘super-connector’ Emirates has over 350 widebodies on order), the airline has big ambitions for the positioning of its brand, aiming to evolve the airline from a travel brand to a global lifestyle brand.

Emirates’ current global brand campaign ‘Hello Tomorrow’ was launched in April 2012. The brand platform is designed to appeal to what Emirates calls “globalistas – a new generation of global consumers who are looking for new experiences across cultures,” with Emirates being the brand that is enabling this global lifestyle. Read full article »

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Turkish Airlines opens branded lounge at Borussia Dortmund soccer stadium

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This branded sports lounge case appears in the February 2014 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 »

Besides increasing the floor space of its already enormous departure lounge at Istanbul Ataturk Airport in order to accommodate for the rapid growth of transfer passengers, Turkish Airlines is also using its signature lounge design as a way to add an experiential touch to its sponsorship of German top soccer team Borussia Dortmund.

Turkish Airlines in December last year opened a new branded VIP lounge at Signal Iduna Park, home of German top soccer team Borussia Dortmund. The 430sqm ‘Lounge Dortmund’ can seat up to 200 of the football club’s spectator-box guests and business partners, and has been designed to reflect the atmosphere of the airline’s International CIP Lounge at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, featuring spanning arches and rich colour palettes.

As well as comfortable seating areas, guests are provided with an array of food and drink, which include a selection of Turkish desserts, coffees and traditional Turkish tea, served by staff wearing the Turkish Airlines cabin crew uniform, reinforcing the airline experience at the stadium.

Faruk Çizmecioğlu, Chief Marketing Officer of Turkish Airlines, commented on the opening: “With the new Turkish Airlines Lounge we are creating a visible sign of our involvement with the club, right in the stadium.”
Read full article »

Innovative airline marketing campaigns that stood out in 2013

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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 »
Read full article »

Delta pops up in central Tokyo with ‘Flight Therapy’ brand space

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Special thanks to Daniel Baron, LIFT Strategic Design
for spotting the Delta ‘Flight Therapy’ brand space

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.
Read full article »

BA digital billboards interact with aircrafts flying overhead

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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 »

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.
Read full article »

Turkish Airlines lets start-ups pitch to Business Class passengers in-flight

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By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

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.”

The project is run by Etohum, a Turkish startup accelerator and the short videos, which run under two minutes, advertise mostly Turkey-based startups but also some foreign companies.

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 »

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Dallas/Fort Worth Airport new security check experience is sponsored by Marriott

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This article appeared earlier on Future Travel Experience

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 »

Airline Marketing Benchmark Report – edition #15 out now

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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 »

Moving beyond shirt sponsorships, Emirates and Delta open lounges at sports stadiums

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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 »

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.

Best Practices in Airline Marketing - Monthly selection of the most innovative marketing campaigns launched by airlines around the world

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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Schiphol Airport and KLM create temporary drive-in cinema at the airport

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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 »

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.

Onboard pre-screening
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.

Best Practices in Airline Marketing - Monthly selection of the most innovative marketing campaigns launched by airlines around the world

Stockholm Arlanda deploys food trucks to offer the public a taste of airport cuisine

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By Springwise

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?

London Heathrow partners with BBC’s Masterchef judges for airport F&B guide

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By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

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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Consumer brands choose airports as locations for innovative campaigns

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By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

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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