MARKETING / ADVERTISING

Kids drawings make their way to onboard amenities, aircraft liveries and boarding passes

airlines x kids drawings_680x306

This case appears in the July 2014 edition of the Airline Marketing Benchmark, a monthly report by airlinetrends.com and Simpliflying that identifies the latest innovative marketing campaigns recently launched by airlines around the world. Learn more » 

There are few things that put a smile on people’s faces like kids creating imaginative drawings and proudly showing the result of their hard work. Moving beyond the regular (read: slightly boring) children drawing competitions, airlines such as Aeroflot, Korean Air and Jetstar Asia have opted to actually feature the creative results from these competitions on their inflight materials, aircraft liveries and boarding passes, which adds a sympathetic touch and a nice story to their brand.

Inflight event (Aeroflot)
To strike a chord with passengers, Aeroflot celebrated International Children’s Day in a creative way. On June 1st, young passengers flying with Aeroflot on that day took part in a painting exhibit onboard more than 20 long-haul flights.

The kids were given some time to create their drawings using a colouring set from the amenity kits for children. Other passengers were also involved in the action: As the kids were trying hard to make a nice drawings, parents were ready to help, while others were watching the process, eager to see the results.

Having finished their drawings, the little artists then proudly presented their masterpieces to the whole aircraft walking up and down the aisles and were rewarded with passengers admiration and a gift from Aeroflot – a funny inflatable plane.

“For kids it was a good chance to express their impressions of the journey with Aeroflot and for us to let them feel our care and love. The festive atmosphere made the flight unforgettable. It was a truly touching moment to see the kids being the heroes of the day!” reads an Aeroflot statement.

During the first half of June, Aeroflot also organized a ‘Colors of the Earth and Sky’ painting contest on social media. Out of 400 entries, 20 winners were chosen who were awarded with a visit to Aeroflot’s main office in the center of Moscow and their paintings could be used in the design of future amenity kits and other services for young passengers on board.

Aircraft livery (Korean Air)
Another sympathetic initiative is Korean Air’s ‘Draw Your Own Plane’ contest, which has been held several times by the airline. One campaign asked kids in elementary schools across South Korea to make a drawing inspired by South Korea’s heritage, while another event saw kids busy painting at one of Korean Air’s aircraft hangars (images here). The winning creations, chosen out of hundreds of drawings, were featured on the liveries of a Korean Air B747-400 and a B737-800. Read full article »

Brussels Airlines’ Flight Ball campaign lets real-world aircraft play virtual soccer

Brussels Airlines_flightball_680x415

This case appears in the July 2014 edition of the Airline Marketing Benchmark, a monthly report by airlinetrends.com and Simpliflying that identifies the latest innovative marketing campaigns recently launched by airlines around the world. Learn more »

Last week, Brussels Airlines flew the Belgian national soccer team – a.k.a. The Red Devils – to São Paulo for the 2014 world cup. For this flight ‘SN2014’, Brussels Airlines had painted one of its A330s in the Belgian Red Devils colours.

To add to the football atmosphere up in the air, a synthetic soccer pitch carpet replaced the regular aisle carpet, while the panels that separate Business Class from Economy Class featured life-size photos of the Red Devils in action (images here).

Flight ‘SN2014’ had 150 seats available for fans to fly together with the players and to go to all the world cup matches the Red Devils play. For this purpose, a special EUR 3,499 travel package was created, which includes flights and entrance tickets to matches of the Red Devils.

Flight Ball
Brussels Airlines also offered the public the chance to win one of the fan flight packages and together with ad agency BBDO devised an original way to select the winner: Flight Ball.

Flightball works like a real football field except that players are replaced by planes flying in real-time over Begian airspace. To monitor each available aircraft, Brussels Airlines and BBDO partnered with Casper, a company that visualizes aircraft tracking data, for the provision of  real-time aircraft movement data and the placement of special antennas throughout Belgium. Using the collected data, airplanes then became the players in the game. Read full article »

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

THY_Invest On Board_680x244

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 »

AirBaltic’s BalticMiles app rewards frequent fliers for burned calories

airBaltic_BalticMiles_BurnTheMiles_680x241

By Springwise

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.

Since frequent fliers often have busy lifestyles, the app provides an incentive for users to keep themselves fit. This case study and video explain more about the scheme.


Qantas commissions books that can be completed in flight time

Qantas_books_a680x300

By Springwise

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?

Gatwick Express offers free music tailored to the trip to the airport

By Springwise

Music can be an excellent traveling companion, and we’ve already seen several efforts to suggest or even tailor music playlists for a particular trip. Now, a new selection of custom music from the UK’s Gatwick Express train service aims to give riders a musical description of their journey.

The Gatwick Express train travels nonstop between London’s Victoria Station and Gatwick Airport in what is roughly a 30-minute trip. Now, offered exclusively to customers who buy their tickets online, the free Gatwick Express Tracks include three custom-recorded musical interpretations of the journey from recording artists Philip Sheppard, Benga, and The Milk. This video illustrates the premise in further detail.

Free love almost always tends to be a winning strategy, and that’s particularly true when it can help consumers get more enjoyment out of your product or service. Transportation entrepreneurs the world over: time to commission something similar?
Read full article »

Low-cost carrier Volaris offers free tickets to Mexicans who have never flown before

By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

Despite the fiscal woes in Europe and the recession that is taking place in a large part of the developed world, a new middle class is emerging in rapidly developing economies such as the so-called BRICs and The Next-11. These countries are enjoying significant economic growth, which is resulting in the creation of a middle class who are ‘trading up’ from long-distance buses to travelling by air, often flying for the first time in their life.

Brazil, Kenya
We have reported before how an airline like TAM is targetting the rapidly growing middle class in Brazil in innovative ways, for example by selling tickets via kiosks at low-end retail chains and subway stations. The airline also allows customers to pay their ticket in multiple installments and provides ‘how to fly’ advice to first-time flyers. Meanwhile in East Africa, airlines such as Kenya Airways and Uganda Airlines have teamed up with mobile payment services like M-PESA and Airtel Money to allow people without a bank account to purchase air tickets via their mobile phone.

Mexico
To demonstrate that air travel is no longer out of reach for the masses, Mexican low-cost airline Volaris in 2011 joined efforts with EnElAire – a Mexican aviation website and radio program – to realize the dream of 15 people with a passion for flying but who had never taken a flight before.

After asking the general public via radio and various social media, “Do you know anyone who dreams of flying on an airplane yet hasn’t been able to do so?,” Volaris and EnElAire received dozens of stories submitted by people nominating friends or family members to participate in the contest.
Read full article »

Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and Finnair offer passengers free light therapy

Aéroports de Paris, which operates Paris Charles de Gaulle and Paris Orly airports, has dveloped a reputation when it comes to establishing innovative partnerships with well-known brands in order to enhance the airport experience. Following earlier initiatives with Sony (free Playstation ‘poles’), Sony (free mini HD-cinema), Gulli (branded play areas) and Samsung (music pods), the airport has now teamed up with Philips to develop light therapy pods, which passengers can use for free.

Luminotherapy
Last month, Paris Charles de Gaulle installed three so-called ‘luminotherapy spaces’ at the airport’s Terminal 2E. Passengers can use the pod 15-minutes for free to fight their jet lag or combat the winter blues, caused by a lack of ultra-violet light during the winter. The cocoons are equipped with Philips GoLiTE BLU lamps in different colors, a relaxing leather chair, and passengers can watch a didactic video that shows the benefits of luminothérapie. Aéroports de Paris operator says it wil decide whether to expand the service to other terminals at the airport based on feedback of passengers using the pods.

At the end of 2007, Aéroports de Paris and Philips also partnered for a limited time to offer a similar service during the winter season, while Philips has teamed with Westin Hotels & Resorts to offer guests at The Westin Chicago River North a stay in a specially designed Concept Room aimed at helping guests combat sleep troubles and jet lag.

Finnair light-emitting headsets
Meanwhile, Finnair just announced it will offer premium passengers on flights between Helsinki and Shanghai the ability to try out a “bright light headset” said to help passengers adapt to jet lag by channeling bright light into the brain via the ear canal. The bright light headsets, developed by Finish company Valkee, will be available free of charge to business class passengers during the month of April, before going on sale in-flight in May 2012.
Read full article »

Iberia teams up with pizza delivery chain to collect unused books for charity

Spanish national carrier Iberia, pizza chain Telepizza and open innovation network Ideas4All in January 2012 launched a ‘Books for Colombia’ campaign with the aim of bringing some 70,000 textbooks and reading books to underprivileged Colombian children and teenagers. The campaign, which kicked off on January 10 and ended on February 10, 2012, called on customers of Telepizza to contribute books they no longer need but that are in good condition.

‘Books for Colombia’ arose from a suggestion made by a Telepizza employee to the Ideas4All website, noting that the boxes on the motorbikes used to deliver pizzas to homes might be used for something worthwhile on the return journey. Telepizza is a Spanish pizza chain that operates more than 600 stores in Spain and over 400 outlets in countries such as Portugal, Chile and Colombia.

Customers could donate books that they no longer use to the Telepizza delivery person, after they have ordered a home delivery. Alternatively, they could donate them directly in any of the Telepizza outlets participating in the campaign. The collected books will be flown to Colombia by Iberia in March, where they will be classified and distributed to 120 libraries and schools in Colombian rural and inner cities by local NGO Buena Nota. Says Manuel López Aguilar, Iberia’s Manager of Sales and Customers, “We loved this idea from the start, since it involves two of Iberia’s hallmarks: as a bridge to Latin America, and as a proactive promoter of culture and human progress.”
Read full article »

SAS promotes free coffee and tea on short-haul flights with design contest

Scandinavian Airlines is one of the few ‘full-service’ airlines in Europe that let passengers in Economy on European flights pay seperately for their drinks and meals. Brussels Airlines and Iberia are among European airlines with a similar catering service on short-haul flights, while no doubt other European full-service carriers are contemplating this concept for their loss-making short-haul operations.

However, as complimentary coffee and tea in Economy is “one of the most asked for products by customers”, SAS at the end of January 2012 reintroduced the free amenity on all its domestic and European routes.

“Free tea and coffee, but the design is up to you”
To promote the introduction of the ‘upgraded’ service, SAS has just launched a public contest for the design of a new paper mug (current design here) to be used on its flights. In the airline’s words: “Now we serve free coffee and tea to everyone on our flights, both domestic and to the rest of the world. You can make sure that we do it in style. Take part in our competition to design the new coffee cups on SAS flights. If your design is the best one, not only will we serve coffee and tea in YOUR design to more than 70.000 passengers every day, but you will also get 100.000 EuroBonus Extra-points.”


Participants in the contest have to use a template for their design and can submit it at flysas.com/design before February 29th 2012. A SAS jury will then select the ten best designs, which will presented on the campaign website www.flysas.com/design and on SAS’ social media channels in the first week of March. After the general public has casted their votes for their favourite design, the winning design will be announced 20 March 2012 and will be featured on the cups for 3 to 6 months.
Read full article »

South African LCC Mango rewards random acts of kindness

By Vivek Mayasandra

Social good is on a lot of people’s minds these days. With a turbulent economic climate and more social awareness, nonprofits, charities and businesses have been scaling their presence to give more, and have been doing so with unique models. Over the past year, businesses in particular have been unprecedented in their initiatives ranging from pay-what-you-can schemes to giving free rides to volunteer events. The trend of spreading good is rightfully taking root in the global business community, and more and more airlines have been catching on with their own unique initiatives.

Airpoints, surprises and free wifi
Dutch carrier KLM has been widely recognized in the industry as a highly innovative carrier – a reputation that can also be applied to their involvement in kindness-based campaigns. In late 2010, KLM’s incredibly well-received KLM Surprise initiative, rewarded small gifts to random passengers who left an ‘@KLM’ tweet or checked in at the airline’s Schiphol Airport FourSquare locations. With New Zealand being the world’s first country to designate a national ‘Random Acts of Kindness Day’, it should come as no surprise that Air New Zealand has also been at the forefront of offering kindness to fliers. In addition to its long running gift-granting @AirNZFairy Twitter account, Air New Zealand earlier this year launched a similar campaign as KLM’s at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch airports.

Mango
Recognizing and rewarding kindness made its way to South Africa this year in the form of Kindness Month. Mango, one of the country’s low cost carriers, and a subsidiary of South African Airways, commemorated its fifth birthday by implementing a new initiative to reward acts of kindness across the country. During ‘Kindness Month’, which started on 15 November and lasts until 15 December, 2011, Mango will be celebrating acts of kindness between South Africans “through hearing how South Africans helped one another.”

Says Mango’s CEO Nico Bezuidenhout, “We want to hear about personal experiences, about individuals who have made a difference; small but significant acts that has impacted someone’s day, week or life. It could be a shop assistant who went out of their way for a customer, a friend in need, someone who gives you a lift when in challenging circumstances. Anything. In the lead up to the December holiday season, we need to share kindness in even larger measures.”
Read full article »

Airline ‘fare clubs’ offer regular travellers a standard discount

As ancillary fees for checked baggage, priority boarding, extra legroom seats, etcetera, become more commonplace in the airline industry, several airlines have been introducing branded/bundled fares and annual ancillary subscriptions as a next step. United Airlines, for example, offers unlimited checked baggage for USD349 a year, while airBaltic recently introduced a similar fee in partnership with luggage brand Samsonite. Another category are ‘fare clubs’, which for an annual fee, provide regular travellers with a standard discount or access to member-only fares.

Wizz Air ‘Xclusive Club’
Wizz Air, a low-cost airline from Poland that offers flights from several bases in Central and Eastern Europe, has recently launched a new membership program called Wizz Xclusive Club. For an annual fee of EUR 29.99, Wizz Xclusive Club members get exclusive access to a pool of tickets that can be cheaper by up to 10 EUR per one-way flight than regular prices. Up to 9 passengers can be booked together with the Xclusive Club member on the same reservation and benefit from the discounted fares. Wizz Air is the first airline in Europe to offer a ‘fare club’ and says that in the first two weeks following the rollout, almost 50 thousand customers signed up.

Spirit Airlines ‘$9 Fare Club’
Wizz Air seems to have been inspired by Florida-based low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines, which in 2008 launched its ‘$9 Fare Club’. Spirit guarantees a member-only sale, with ticket prices as low as a few dollars, at least once every six weeks, but usually offers at least one sale per week. The special fares are offered on a first come, first serve basis and travellers flying on the same ticket will receive the members-only fare as well. Annual membership of the $9 Fare Club costs USD59.95, but those who sign up for a Spirit-branded MasterCard also obtain a free membership to the $9 Fare Club.
Read full article »

Kenya Airways lets the ‘unbanked’ pay for their ticket via sms

We have reported earlier how Brazilian airline TAM is reaching the rapidly growing middle class in Brazil in innovative ways. The airline sells tickets via low-end retail chain Casas Bahia and at bus stations, lets customers pay in multiple installments, and provides ‘how to fly’ advice to first-time flyers. Meanwhile in East Africa, airlines such as Kenya Airways and Uganda Airlines have teamed up with mobile payment services M-PESA and Airtel Money to allow people without a bank account to purchase air tickets.

M-PESA
M-PESA (M for money, pesa is Swahili for money) can be regarded as the African equivalent of the credit card and was first launched in 2007 by Kenyan mobile phone operator Safaricom, an affiliate of Vodafone. M-PESA allows Kenyans to transfer money via SMS instead of via a bank account, an important aspect in a country like Kenya where an estimated 30 percent of people (the so-called ‘unbanked’) have no access to formal or even informal financial services.

With M-PESA, the user can buy electronic money at one of 24,000 M-PESA agents around the country and send this ‘e-cash’ to any other mobile phone user in Kenya, who can then redeem it for conventional cash at a snearby agent. M-PESA customers can do transactions of up to Ksh 140,000 (USD 1600, EUR 1100) per day and a maximum of KShs70,000 can be deposited, sent or withdrawn per transaction. A variable fee for transaction applies (example Ksh 150 for transactions between Ksh 20,000 and 35,000).

Originally launched as a money transfer service for relatives abroad to send money home, M-PESA is also often used to pay directly for goods and services, from groceries at selected supermarket chains to electricity bills and taxi-cab fares. An M-PESA enabled mobile phone can also function as an electronic wallet that lets users pay directly for goods and services at one of 600 participating organizations. M-PESA does not pay interest on deposits nor make loans and users only need to sign up for the service with an ID card.

As of March 2011, the M-PESA service had nearly 14 million customers, or over 80 per cent of Safaricom’s customer base. M-Pesa has also been launched in South Africa and Tanzania by Vodacom, another Vodafone subsidiary.
Read full article »

airBaltic and Samsonite introduce innovative checked bag fee

Latvian-based hybrid low-cost carrier airBaltic has introduced an innovative ancillary product, called the airBalticBag. Regular flyers with the airline who purchase an airBaltic-branded Samsonite suitcase can carry it as free checked-in luggage on an unlimited number of airBaltic flights for twelve months from the day of purchase. AirBaltic normally charges passengers in Economy a fee of EUR20 per checked bag one way when pre-booked online and EUR30 when purchased at the airport.

How it works: Travellers can purchase the airBalticBag (which is the lightest Samsonite suitcase available) in two sizes: The smallest suitcase weighs 2.3 kg and can also be taken into the cabin, while the larger model weighs 3.2 kg and can be used as checked-in baggage only. Prices for the suitcases are EUR169 and EUR181 respectively, which is within range of Samsonite’s suggested retail prices.

Passengers then register for airBaltic’s BalticMiles frequent flyer program and receive a personalised ‘free baggage tag’ with their full name and BalticMiles number, which should be attached to the Samsonite suitcase and correspond with the name on the flight ticket when taking a flight. The airBalticBag can be purchased online or in airBaltic ticket offices in Riga, Vilnius and Tallinn.

Tangible product
The outcome of an internal brainstorm session at airBaltic, the airBalticBag is a smart way to sell a checked bag fee, which many passenger regard as just another way of making money by airlines. Besides the annual subscription, which should save regular travellers in Economy class money when they fly more than four times a year, the product gives passengers a tangible product instead of just another fee. For Samsonite, the airBalticBag is a new way to promote its lightest suitcase, the B-Lite. It is unclear however, what the annual fee of the annual subscription will be for the second year and airBaltic says it is currently evaluating various options. Passengers in airBaltic’s Business Class as well as Executive and VIP-level members of BalticMiles will continue to be able to can check in luggage for free.

Read full article »

KLM offers its Facebook fans the chance to be featured on a ‘Delft Blue’ Boeing 777

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. Read full article »