Translating 'On-Air' experiences 'On-Ground'


Airlines are geared to break conventional methods of advertising as they step outside the airport with some truly innovative ideas. Here are instances of some well-known airlines around the globe that ‘gave flight’ to consumer imagination with their unique advertising.

Cebu Pacific

Cebu Pacific, the largest low cost carrier of Phillipines used the wet weather to ensure flyers book for a sunnier Phillipines as Hong Kong has less than 100 hours of sunshine in summer monsoon season. The smart campaign used water repellant spray to draw ads on the ground in high traffic areas in the city to make them invisible until wet weather arrives and water droplets roll off the sprayed surface to reveal the tagline `It is sunny in the Phillipines.’ The ad was accompanied by a QR code which could allowed scanning of the ground through the commuters phones and receive a Cebu Pacific discount code.

Air France’s FoodTruck

Air France started off the ‘Gourmet Food Truck’ through Manhattan, New York and served complimentary food to all and sundry. Chefs from the Airline caterer `Flying Food Servair’ gave free food samples based on the recipe of Air France Michelin starred chef Joël Robuchon. To name a few items on the menu were Pain au chocolat for breakfast besides cucumber and smoked salmon brochette for lunch, French Shepherd’s Pie with duck confit for dinner and assorted French macarons and petits fours for dessert. The truck was parked at different locations and its trail could be followed through Twitter and Facebook. An estimated 600 samples of breakfast, lunch and dinner were served everyday throughout the promotion.

Virgin Atlantic takes over a New York park bench

Virgin Atlantic gave New Yorkers a flying experience on ground. Passerby could sit on a first class bench in Manhattan and an air stewardess would offer them lunch accompanied by champagne and a choice of movies in the form of a live performance.

Austrian Airlines’ Café-to-go

Austrian Airlines offered free coffee to passersby in the streets of New York for ten days with its `Café-to-Go’ truck and its route was announced on twitter. Vienna is noted for its traditional coffee houses and the airlines also features a ‘Viennese coffee house’ service onboard its flights.

Qatar Airways promotes Britain

VisitBritain and Qatar Airways tried out an experiential marketing campaign to inspire travelers to go to UK from Saudi Arabia last year. With a total expenditure of 729 million pounds till 2020, Saudi Arabia has the highest projected value percentage growth of 181 percent amidst the 20 emerging and major markets in ‘VisitBritain’ tourism strategy. It was scheduled from November 20 to December 14 and reached out to 45,000 people in shopping malls across Saudi Arabia. Consumers at the Red Sea Mall in Jeddah, Mall of Dahran in Dammam and Riyadh Gallery in Riyadh experienced the sights and sounds of Britain and got a sample of travelling in Business Class in Qatar Airways onboard Boeing 777. A black cab from London welcomed visitors to take a virtual guided tour of the streets of London. Other major attractions in Britain were brought to life through 3D models, TV screens and directional sound. Four Queens Guards were also omni-present for an experience of Britishness and photo opportunities.

British Airways’ innovative advertising

British Airways in coordination with Ogilvy’s digital created 12-floor custom fit digital billboards with surveillance technology to detect and activate the billboards as their airline passed overhead. Located at Piccadilly Circus and Chiswick in London, whenever the billboard detects a British Airways flight below the clouds, visible to passersby, a child runs across the board, pointing towards the sky chasing the airplane. The billboard then displays an update of the flight details such as BA flight 475 from Barcelona. It was the first of its kind not only for British Airways but also for UK advertising. The online video of the billboard had gone viral and got more than 750,000 views in less than ten days and created a record of sorts.

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