This piece comes from the Winter issue of Aviation Marketing Review (AMR) magazine. Read the whole issue here.
With most post–pandemic travel restrictions coming to an end in 2022, airline marketing was back. Over the past year we’ve seen some great campaigns where airlines have been reintroducing themselves to the travelling public.
Here are ten of our favourites from 2022.
Air France – Elegance is a journey
In May, Air France released a new ad showcasing the best of France and Paris for a global audience.
The video tells the story of a woman in a red dress climbing the Eiffel Tower, the iconic symbol of France. As the heroine ascends the metal structure, there is a sequence of scenes meant to convey different Air France attributes and features such as the cuisine, and the attention given to younger travellers on flights.
At the top of the tower, she crosses an imaginary and enchanting sea of clouds.
The video ends by revealing the company’s new brand strapline – “Elegance is a journey. Air France.” This is meant to embody “the values of Air France, its style, as well as its attention to others and to the planet.”
Alaska Airlines – Care Coalition
Alaska Airlines’ Care Coalition is a feel good campaign that seeks to put positive vibes back into travelling by air.
The coalition consists of a series of entertainment and social media personalities, known for their sunny demeanours. It’s fronted by Tan France of TV Show “Queer Eye”, and also includes Tik Tok Star Nik Cho (@YourKoreanDad), the ‘Care Bear’ and ‘Mother Nature.’
In the initial sixty second spot, which was shown at the Superbowl, France chairs the coalition while they debate on whether to add Alaska Airlines.
The campaign was then followed up with a series of 30 second slots with the ‘Care Coalition’ delving into exactly why the airline is caring.
British Airways – A British Original
A British Original revolved around the question travellers are often asked when they land in a new country, “what is the purpose of your visit.”
But instead of the usual boxes you see on an immigration form of ‘business’ or ‘leisure’, the ads reflected a range of answers linking back to the very real and human reasons people travel. Over 500 different variations were created. (We’ve featured this campaign in the current issue of AMR)
Brussels Airlines – Safety Video
While other airlines have used celebrities in the past in their safety videos (notably Air New Zealand), the execution normally involves celebrity voice overs interspersed with cabin crew demonstrating the safety features.
The brand new Brussels Airlines safety video, released on August 1st, instead takes the form of a music video, where Hooverphonic lead singer Geike Armaert sings her way through the complete safety demonstration.
As she sings, other band members demonstrate the safety features, with the backdrop featuring slightly surreal Magritte-style imagery.
As a safety video treatment it’s different, but imparting information by way of a song is (according to academic research) proven to work, and Hooverphonic gives the airline a certain amount of PR value, while of course being (like the airline) Belgian.
Delta – The Delta Runway Collection
Delta teamed up with actress Issa Rae to showcase a team of six boutique designers, who created a travel themed fashion range to coincide with LA Fashion Week. This is our cover story this month, we’ve written about it in more detail in AMR Magazine.
Qantas – Still call Australia home
In 1987, Qantas started using the song ‘Still Call Australia Home’ in its marketing. In 1994, a new TV ad featuring the song was launched to coincide with the Commonwealth Games, while the “Qantas Choir” featured in a 1998 version of the ad.
Still Call Australia Home has since been in different Qantas ads throughout the years, here for example is a 2009 version of the ad with a singing children’s choir.
In 2022, Australia brought the song back in a post pandemic campaign, as Australia reopened for (vaccinated) visitors.
Ryanair on TikTok
@ryanair No time for a slowmo scene we only have 25 minutes! #sigma #zoolander ♬ Yotube AstroCapella – AstroCapella
Over the past year, Ryanair has delivered a masterclass on how to use the youth focused social network TikTok as a communications and marketing tool.
The style of the content and the tone have all resulted in Ryanair becoming the biggest airline brand on the social network (it was the cover story in the May issue of the magazine, click here to read more).
The SkyTeam Sustainable Flight Challenge
Though not strictly speaking an airline marketing campaign, the Sustainable Flight Challenge gave all SkyTeam airlines a chance to highlight their sustainability credentials.
The challenge involved each airline taking one flight, and trying to make it as sustainable as possible. For example, see the work we did with SAUDIA, where the airline staged an in-flight sustainability lab on a Jeddah – Madrid flight.
SkyTeam, and the different member airlines, now have an excellent platform that they can build on in future years.
United – Good Leads the Way
This is United’s new brand campaign launched in May 2022.
The centre-piece of the campaign is a feel-good, optimistic video ad. According to the airline, the idea behind the ad is – “Connecting People. Uniting the World.” Every day, we help unite the world by connecting people to the moments that matter most. This shared purpose drives us to be the best airline for our employees, customers and everyone we serve.”
Sustainability, and the airline’s commitment to SAF comes through early with the narrator saying “it’s a sci-fi story about a trash that fuels a plane”.
The campaign has been amplified in lots of different ways, such as staging a special ‘Juneteenth flight.’ We like it as it both reinforces that aviation is a force for good, and shows how United is making progress in sustainability. (Read more in the July issue of the magazine).
Vistara – The Soundtrack of Travel
To welcome passengers back after the pandemic, Vistara released a mix of sounds that you generally associate with being on an aircraft. It includes cabin crew announcements, but also the sound of the overhead bins closing.
There are also the sounds of seatbelts clicking, the beep of security scanners and drinks being poured. It then ends with the sound of an aircraft getting ready for takeoff.
A social media competition, amplifying the video, asks people to count the number of beeps they hear for the chance to win a Vistara Ticket.
Vistara says it intends to build on “sound” as a property and channel it can own in the future.