"ATL or BTL, neither can survive in isolation"- Sangeeta Sharma, Lufthansa


India is rapidly evolving as a market today where experiential is being effectively used by brand owners and marketers. From automobiles to FMCG goods and from apparels to even fast food restaurants, the landscape of experiential is swiftly changing and more brands overtime are realizing its importance.

However, the country is yet to witness a truly engaging and immersive experiential initiative from an airliner. If one would agree to look at countries like USA or UK, they will be flooded with examples of how airliners created diverse experiences for their customers during holiday seasons or even otherwise. But such examples are rarely present in the Indian context is something one is aware about.

The thought is contradicted by Sangeeta Sharma, who heads the marketing for Lufthansa (International group of European airline headquartered in Germany).  Sangeeta believes that experiential initiatives have always been an integral part of the marketing strategy of Lufthansa and it is in fact through these initiatives that the global airliner had managed to secure a strong foothold in the minds and hearts of its travelers.

Speaking about the marketing philosophy of Lufthansa, Sangeeta says, “We at Lufthansa have always followed a 360* approach in terms of marketing. We want to constantly engage and surprise our target audiences with communication messages that keep them connected with our brand ethos. As a result, we have used ATL campaigns, Digital campaigns and also BTL initiatives to keep our audiences engaged.”

The airliner has recently launched a Diwali campaign on a global scale to charm its flyers in the upcoming festive season. Conceived and seeded by Lufthansa India, the #Diwalisurprise campaign has been rolled-out simultaneously across 80 countries and expects a participation of 1 million Indians worldwide.

The #Diwalisurprise campaign will give participants a chance to unite with their loved ones by registering their “wish” and getting a chance to win tickets for Lufthansa flights. The campaign offers three interesting avenues for users to participate in – Light up a heart where participants can register their wish to win a ticket for themselves and their loved ones; Illuminate a plane where a user’s wish will add light to help create a digital marvel of a Lufthansa 747-8 illuminated in Diwali lights.

Once registered, users will be able to see their wishes progressively illuminating the Lufthansa 747-8 on the microsite home page. In addition to illuminating the plane, with the use of technology, users will also be able to view the ‘Wish Network,’ a live map where their wishes will light up the countries of the sender and recipient. Finally, the campaign includes a Light up a life dimension in the spirit of Diwali where the users wishes help brighten a child’s life. Every registered wish will help children in need through help alliance projects across India.

Focusing on the concept behind such experiential initiatives for the brand, Sangeeta says, “Every year we roll out different kind of BTL initiatives that are in synch with the ideology of Lufthansa and one of the main ideas when we are formulating such experience driven campaigns is to offer something innovative every year for our target market.”

Lufthansa last year also launched a successful advertising campaign for its brand in the country which won laurels and great admiration from its travelers. When asked about what works better for Lufthansa ATL or BTL initiatives? Sangeeta says, “Nor ATL or BTL, can survive in isolation. BTL is just a more engaging and immersive medium to reiterate what you are trying to communicate through ATL. For us our key messages t are the same but what makes them unique is the manner of storytelling. It is for the same reason that we have only one agency MRM worldwide for both our ATL and BTL campaign needs.”

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