Airline Marketing Monthly - Oct/Nov 2019

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Airline Marketing Monthly



October / November


Treating people like people - WestJet A guide to sonic branding in partnership with DLMDD

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Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Published by SimpliVisible, the content arm of SimpliFlying, Airline Marketing Monthly is the only trade magazine worldwide devoted to aviation marketing

Content Contents


Aviation marketing


campaigns 4-6

Featured campaigns


Campaign of the month.


Treating people like


Cup Air Canada - Travel like a


Canadian ANA - Economy class


menu vote

people - WestJet Unexpected Journeys -

Airbus and the Americas


Singapore Airlines and

Austrian Airlines and KLM 62 - Sneakers British Airways - Jason

the Singapore Tourist


Hawkes Photography

Board KLM’s Centenary


Pitch to Rich - Virgin



Condor - We will fly you


Delta - Pop up Brewery


Emirates - Karaoke


Anthems A feature on special


airline liveries

News from SimpliFlying

A guide to sonic



Hong Kong Airlines - Gif


Stickers IATA - 25 by 2025


Delta Win Flight


United - Fly the friendly



branding with DLMDD Brands in this issue



Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019


Introduction - The problem with vanity metrics For a group of New Zealanders, it was to set up a business that sold fake Instagram likes to users around the world.

Unfortunately for them, they got so successful in their endeavours that they attracted the attention of Instagram’s owner, Facebook, which has ended up pursuing them

through the US courts. I use that example to illustrate the scale of the fake follower and engagement industry. It spans thousands, probably

tens of thousands of businesses worldwide. Some are small bot farms. Some, like our New Zealand example, are quite substantial and successful businesses. And these businesses have a ready customer base, which includes the majority of Instagram users worldwide, if a study over the Summer is to be believed. Users are to blame, to a certain extent so are the social networks with their emphasis on validation (hence why it’s positive that Facrebook is considering hiding Facebook and Instagram likes), but so are we - brand marketers.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

What’s an easy way to make almost $10 million?

Aviation brands are one of the main users of so-called ‘influencers’ and very often the big number, ‘how many followers does this person have?’, is still the starting point. This was a topic I discussed with Misael Trujillo. who invited me onto the ‘Promote the Hell out of It’ podcast. You can access the podcast here. The discussion revolved around everything from how the fake follower industry works (the services you find on Google are by and large resellers, making a mark-up) to why the social networks don’t do more to crack down on the practice (possibly because they’d see a sudden numbers drop if they did so).

follower numbers completely? That’s obviously not practical, we still need some kind of metric to give us an idea of reach, but it shouldn’t be the most important one, let alone the only one.

The importance of credibility and content Instead, I personally recommend starting with two criteria - credibility and content. First of all, is the individual in question credible? Do they know the topic, and is there a community that is engaged and following what they are saying (look at the comments). Have they been recognised elsewhere, for example in independent blogger awards? If in the travel space, do they write anywhere else, for example in mainstream media or for travel guide books? And is the content they produce of a high quality, and does it fit with our brand? Start with those two factors. Then move onto other metrics.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

But coming back to what we do as aviation marketers, what’s the solution, should we disregard

A guide to sonic branding with DLMDD

What do your passengers hear when they board your aircraft? How about if they ring up your customer services line? If you are an airport operator, what kind of sounds do passengers hear in different areas of the terminals and lounges? To look at these questions in more detail we’ve partnered up with DLMDD an agency which builds brands through sounds. Among other things we’ve got a review of a selection of boarding songs, we look at the latest research as to why sonic branding should be taken as seriously as visual branding, and we provide some pointers as to what you should be doing next, if looking to create a consistent and effective sonic brand. As always, if you are working on a marketing campaign that you think we should know about, please email me Dirk Singer - Editor, Airline Marketing Monthly / Content Director, SimpliFlying


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Do you have a recognisable sonic brand, and should you have one?


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Featured Campaigns

WestJet - Treating people like people

In the ad which immedi-

The video then cuts to

people often use a less

ately catches your atten-

human beings in the same

than flattering term to

tion, cows are seen milling

airport being processed by

describe it - ‘cattle class.’

around an airport, with the

smiling WestJet check-in

Added to that you get

accompanying soundtrack

staff with the concluding

phrases like ‘herded like

being New Order’s Blue

message being, ‘an airline

cattle’, or ‘treated like

Monday . The cows can

should treat people like

cattle’, or you could be just

be seen at the check-in


‘one of the herd.’

counters, the luggage car-

That idea - that some airlines treat passengers,


ousels, and in the departure areas.

WestJet finally backs this up by mentioning its commitment to not over-book,

especially ones who don’t

And at each stage the

to its record as having the

pay a premium to travel

cows are met with eye roll-

best on time performance,

at the front of the plane -

ing or shoulder shrugging

and it’s Tripadvisor ranking

like cattle and not people,

staff who present them

as being the best airline in

formed the basis of West-

with various problems


Jet’s latest advertising

such as the flight being


overbooked, or delays.

Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

When flying economy,

A quote in the official com-

on October 21, the night of

er brands looking to set

pany press release makes

Canada’s federal election.

themselves apart from the

a nod to the transition WestJet has been making over the past year, which has included the delivery of new Dreamliners, and the introduction of a new business class cabin:

trem, Vice-President Marketing Communications, “We want the travelling public to know that as we become a global network carrier, we will never lose

Jet’s ‘treating people like

However, much as we en-

people’ is quite similar to

joyed JetBlue’s campaign,

that in the recent ‘Alright

on balance WestJet’s

Brothers’ campaign from

‘treating people like peo-

JetBlue, which we covered

ple’ was probably stron-

in our last issue.

ger. It made us watch it

In that campaign, JetBlue reimagined a past where the Wright Brothers who invented aviation at the turn of the 20th Century, were followed in the 1920s

over and over to look for cow-related details we might have missed, it was just as good, if not better when watching it for a third or fourth time.

by the ‘Alright Brothers’

The idea of having cows

who invented the com-

star in the film is different,

mercial airline business,

and it is the kind of thing

“Travel can be unpredict-

complete with everything

that will get people talking

able and this campaign

that JetBlue says in wrong

the next day at work or in

represents how we will

with other airlines today.

the coffee shop. It ties into

sight of the caring WestJet touch.

always try to put ourselves in our guests shoes by delivering the caring guest experience that has made WestJet stand out from the herd.” Developed by Canadian creative agency Rethink, the campaign consists of a comprehensive digital and out-of-home presence that will run from coastto-coast across Canada. The campaign launched



The message was that while other airlines follow the ethos of mediocrity and make do pioneered by the Alright Brothers, JetBlue excels in customer service and standards. Both are great campaigns featuring strong, memorable creatives to make their point, and both JetBlue in the US and WestJet in Canada are challeng-

ideas that everyone can understand (‘cattle class’, ‘follow the herd’ etc), it requires no further explanation. And finally, you can see how the whole cow / cattle theme could be extended into the future for further campaigns. For that reason, we’ve made WestJet’s ‘treating people like people’ our cover story for the month.

Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

According to Richard Bar-

The thinking behind West-

Singapore Airlines Unexpected Journeys

up comedian Rishi Budhrani set out to prove otherwise as part of the new ‘Unexpected Journeys’ campaign, on behalf of Singapore Airlines and the Singapore Tourism Board. How did he try and shatter misconceptions about Singapore? By first of all travelling to three places, whose name suggests there’s not a lot going on in them - the towns of Dull, Bland and Boring, which are actual locations in Scotland, Australia and the USA. Not only are they real places, they form membership of an exclusive club - ‘The League of Extraordinary Communities’. According to Scotland’s Sunday Post newspaper, Bland and Boring are both named after early residents of the area – William Bland and William Boring – and Dull is believed to have got its name from the Pictish word for field. In each of these places he tried to show how the name doesn’t actually fit. For example, his trip to Dull, Scotland, involved Rishi Budhani bungee jumping off a bridge, and taking a swim in a lake, where the water temperature was only 4 de-


grees celsius.

Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Is Singapore just a colourful city populated by ‘crazy rich Asians?’ Singapore stand

back to Singapore. In the Dull video, this involved the local hotel owner and three of his friends, who were flown to Singapore first class on a Singapore Airlines A380. In Singapore, the three Scots were taken around the city with the focus being on unexpected experiences. For example, they were serenaded by a local Singapore bagpipe band, participated in a satay speed-eating challenge and took part in a pro-Wrestling match versus a Singapore team. According to a Singapore Airlines, ‘the film series was created by SIA and STB to the unexpected experiences that Singapore and Singapore Airlines have to

Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

The second part of each of the three videos then saw him bringing local residents

offer travellers. The series authentically showcases the depth and breadth of Singapore and the distinctive experiences travellers can enjoy in the destination as well as on board Singapore Airlines.’ The campaign was developed by TBWA, which is the creative agency for both the Singapore Tourist Board and Singapore Airlines. Singapore’s national airline and national tourist board have collaborated before on marketing campaigns, with the 2017 destination themed safety video gathering over five million views on social media.


Credit - Image from Delta

Why this campaign works

reasons. The initial focus on Dull, Boring and Bland provides quite a nice twist on what’s ultimately a destination promotion for Singapore. The videos are watchable with genuine funny moments. The short films obviously have their fair share of Singapore Airlines product placement, but it doesn’t seem forced. The campaign does focus on some of the unexpected sides of Singapore (for example that it has WWF style wrestling teams), and so carry the message that there’s more going on that meets the eye. Finally, the campaign is scaleable. It lends itself to lots of different executions, and you could imagine Singapore Airlines and the National Tourist Board commissioning a second series next year, or adopting the same theme (discovering the unexpected, more than meets the eye) but with a slightly different treatment and creative. The full films can be viewed on the official YouTube channel for the campaign:


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

This is a great campaign, which we liked for a number of different

KLM Centenary

campaigns in previous issues, but BA of course isn’t the only airline to celebrate 100 years of service in 2019. It’s also the centenary of KLM. And unlike British Airways, which went through several name changes and incarnations (Imperial Airways, BOAC etc), KLM points out that it’s the oldest international airline still operating under its original name. To celebrate the centenary, KLM staged an event in Amsterdam, The “KLM Experience”, where guests were treated to an overview of KLM’s past, present and future. This included an in-depth look at KLM’s development over the decades and the role it played in international civil aviation.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

We’ve covered British Airways’ 100th anniversary

At the event, KLM unveiled a new Delftware miniature house. Since the 1950s, KLM has presented specially designed Delftware miniature houses to World Business Class passengers on intercontinental flights. The houses are replicas of monumental buildings throughout the Netherlands. This year’s miniature is a replica of Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague, the home of King Willem-Alexander and his family.

At the same time, KLM released a short online video telling the story of three generations of the same family who worked with KLM from the early days to the present. The first two featured women are inspired to fly and become flight attendants. The film closes with the granddaughter of the original woman, who ends up in the cockpit of a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. The film tracks KLM’s evolution from 1919 to the present day and features classic airplanes such as the Fokker F.II in 1934, the Douglas DC-4 in 1949, Boeing 747 in 1975 and ending with the brand-new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. All are brought to life with the uniforms, props and details from each decade.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Brand film

In-flight magazine for kids

Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Another element of the 100th anniversary celebrations was an in-flight magazine for kids. KLM joined forces with Hearst Create and popular science magazine Quest, to create the Holland Herald Junior magazine. Among other things, the Holland Herald Junior contains a report about flamingo Bob on Curacao, the most interesting facts and must-knows about a KLM plane, a robot quiz and an interview with a real pilot.


Virgin Atlantic - Pitch to Rich

tember. To promote the launch, the airline announced a ‘Pitch to Rich’ competition. The idea combined a few things: A Dragon’s Den style pitch by entrepreneurs in front of Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, a nod to the fact that Tel Aviv and Israel in general is home to a thriving tech start-up community, and of course an opportunity to promote the new route to Israeli business and leisure travellers. Business owners had to be up and running for two years with a turnover of at least $150,000 a year to qualify. The first stage involved submitting a short two minute video about how the business hopes to get to the next level. The second stage was then an event in Tel Aviv in front of a judging panel chaired by Sir Richard Branson. Of course, that wasn’t the only element to Virgin Atlantic’s launch campaign. It also involved:


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Virgin Atlantic’s new London Heathrow to Tel Aviv route started at the end of Sep-

Jewish Cultural Experience Days for Crew

ish cultural experience days in London for the onboard managers operating the route. The workshops involved discussion of Jewish customs, religious laws and festivals, as well as an in-depth look at kosher food. The workshops provided crew with knowledge to share with other crew members, and helped them understand some of the specific requests they might receive onboard. Crew members also visited a kosher supermarket, a synagogue and the Jewish Learning Exchange in Golders Green, a north London neighbourhood that’s home to a large Orthodox Jewish community. Given that many of the seats on the flights will be sold both to Israeli Jews, as well as to members of the UK’s 300,000 strong Jewish community this move, and promoting that it was happening, of course made perfect sense. In fact, the God Save the Points review of the launch flight mentions that the flight service manager had gone through the trouble of learning Hebrew for six months before the launch flight, that there was kosher wine and champagne on offer, and that dishes from


Israel-themed London restaurant, ‘The Good Egg’ were on offer.

Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

On its blog, Virgin Atlantic says that it put its crew through two Jew-

Virgin Atlantic NFL Games

NFL Games, an annual event in London where US teams come and play in front of UK fans. To mark the sponsorship, Virgin Atlantic released a video and ran a competition where the prize was tickets to Orlando to see the NFL All Stars Game in 2020.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

At the same time, Virgin Atlantic announced its sponsorship of the

A look at special airline liveries Over the past few weeks, quite a few airlines unveiled a special livery. As a result, we’ve included a round up here.

American Airlines has a longstanding relationship with the Stand Up to Cancer initiative. This normally involves an annual fund-raising and awareness raising campaign, featuring American employees who have themselves been cancer sufferers. At the end of Septem-

one’s name added to the

The volunteer flight crew

ber, American unveiled

plane, resulting in more

for the inaugural flight

a special A321 Stand Up

than $825,000 for cancer

all had a connection to

to Cancer aircraft, that


cancer. Meanwhile in

featured 2,627 names of cancer survivors, patients and those who were lost to cancer.

flight of the freshly painted aircraft, American flew a group of cancer survi-

Names were submitted

vors and caregivers from

by the public throughout

Los Angeles Airport (LAX)

the month of July, all of

to Orlando International

whom donated $25 or

Airport (MCO).

more to have their loved


To mark the inaugural

Orlando, Hyatt provided guestrooms and hotel experiences for the weekend at Hyatt Regency Orlando, while Universal Orlando Resort hosted guests at the park and provided special VIP treatment.

Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

American Airlines - Stand up to cancer

Qantas - Centenary Livery

of Australian airline Qantas, which turns 99 in November. In anticipation of 100 years of Qantas, the airline’s newest Qantas’ newest 787 Dreamliner rolled out of the paint shop at Boeing’s factory in Washington State wearing a special Centenary livery. The special livery features each Qantas logo since its 1920 founding in outback Queensland through to today, along with the newly unveiled ‘Qantas100’ imprint that will run across its Centenary celebrations.

United - Her Art Here In the May issue of AMM we featured United for the ‘Her Art Here’ initiative, which promoted female artists via a design competition. The end point of the competition was for the winning designs to appear on the side of Boeing 757s flying on United’s East to West coast routes.


At the end of September, United unveiled

The Boeing 757 features iconic imagery

the liveries, including one that was de-

from the two states including the historic

veloped by artist Corinne Antonelli, who

Red Mill in New Jersey, the New York City

produced a design that’s a tribute to the

skyline and the Statue of Liberty, as well

New York/New Jersey region. This in light

as a globe that is meant to show United

of United having a major hub at Newark

Airlines worldwide connectivity.

Liberty International Airport hub.

Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

2019 has seen KLM and British Airways celebrate its centenary, next year it’s the turn

Air India - Celebrating India September 27th was World Tourism Day. It also marked the launch of Air India’s new non-stop service between New Delhi and Toronto. Though the core idea is

billboards. And just like

occasions, Air India gave

sound, we’re not huge fans

an ad billboard, anyone

the Boeing 777 serving the

of this execution, as unlike

seeing it, should be able to

new route a special livery.

some of the other examples

get it in seconds. However

The design involves pictures

we’ve provided here, it is

in this case putting the

of Indian destinations being

quite easy to miss.

pictures above the windows

placed above the windows, accompanied by the words ‘Celebrating India.’

Special liveries are essentially mobile ad

makes the Air India livery lose some of its intended impact.

SunExpress - Shaun the Sheep Holiday airline SunExpress has unveiled a special livery for one of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft - one that celebrates the new ‘Shaun the Sheep’ kids movie.

Jointly owned by Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, much of SunExpress’s traffic involves flying German holiday makers to the Turkish mediterranean coast. At the same time, though Shaun the Sheep was developed by Bristol (UK) based Aardman Productions, the franchise is very popular in Germany. As a result, this tie-up, and the renaming of the aircraft into the ‘ShaunExpress’ makes a


lot of sense from a brand point of view.

Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

To celebrate both those

LATAM - Stormtrooper Plane SunExpress wasn’t the only airline unveiling a special livery that links to a movie franchise. LATAM unveiled a Stormtrooper aircraft in association with Disney.

The unveiling of the Boe-

LATAM’s Line Maintenance

including Orlando, Miami,

ing 777 took place at a Star

Center in São Paulo/Gua-

Madrid, Frankfurt, Paris

Wars themed event in Sao

rulhos were surprised with

and London.

Paulo, Brazil. The “Storm-

an all-inclusive trip to expe-

trooper Plane” was de-

rience Star Wars: Galaxy’s

signed by Disney’s creative

Edge at the Walt Disney

team along with Lucafilm.

World Resort.

During the unveiling of

According to Disney, the

onboard entertainment

the “Stormtrooper Plane,”

aircraft will fly from São

platform, LATAM Play.

a group of customers at

Paulo to destinations

While in the air, passengers will be able to enjoy all 10 films of the Star Wars Collection on LATAM’s

Virgin Atlantic - The Falcon Virgin Atlantic likewise gave one of its aircraft a Star Wars theme, by unveiling ‘The Falcon’, a Boeing 747 to celebrate Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World Resort Florida, and a new Virgin Holidays Star Wars Experience holiday package.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Credit - Image from Delta

‘The Falcon’ is flying between London Gatwick and Orlando. In a social media competition run by ⁣Virgin Holidays, anyone who spots and posts about “The Falcon” can win two seats onboard The Ultimate Virgin Holidays Star Wars Experience to Orlando in 2020. By introducing the spot the plane competition element, Virgin Atlantic has done something few airlines do when unveiling a special livery - it has introduced a call to action and an element of interactivity. The mechanic is pretty simple, but it will ensure a lot more people know about the aircraft, and the fact that Virgin Atlantic flies to Orlando.

Alaska Airlines was another aviation brand which worked with Disney in a livery design. The airline unveiled its latest special-edition 737800 aircraft livery, which offered a tribute to Pixar Pier, a reimagined land at Disney California Adventure Park. A trio of familiar Pixar characters span both sides of the aircraft: Woody, Buzz Lightyear and Jessie of Toy Story fame. In addition, one of the Aliens from the popular animated movie series can be spotted on both winglets, while Rex the Tyrannosaurus makes a special appearance at the boarding door. The plane is named “Friendship and Beyond at Disneyland Resort.”


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Alaska Airlines - Pixar Themed Aircraft

Emirates - The Sky is Only the Beginning To celebrate Hazzaa AlMansoori, the first Emirati astronaut returning to the UAE after a successful space mission, Emirates announced that it would be painting an A380 in a Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

special livery.

Credit The livery includes the- Image from Delta

words, ‘The Sky is Only the Beginning’ (a quote from The Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid) as well as an image of an astronaut in space.

Etihad - Saudi National Day Emirates’ UAE neighbour, Etihad, likewise came out with a special livery. In a project launched in partnership with The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), a 787-9 Dreamliner flew to Riyadh painted with a special design. Etihad said that the bespoke

latticework design in the

turing players from Ri-

livery celebrated the UAE’s

Kingdom’s national colours.

yadh-based Al Nassr FC, one

close historical ties with Saudi Arabia, through an Islamic calligraphic and Mashrabiya


The celebration kicked off with a special video fea-

of Saudi Arabia’s most popular football teams which Etihad sponsors.

What makes for a good and an effective airline livery? Spotting a special airline livery is not as rare as it used to be as

from Marc

many airlines across the globe are making use of this fun way


of communicating a message. By taking a closer look at this


trend, I would argue that within the category of special airline


liveries, there are three sub-categories.

Global Institute

1. Advertising Whenever an airline sells aircraft exterior space to promote another brand. The liveries from SunExpress, Latam, Virgin Atlantic and Alaska Airlines belong in this group.

2. Awareness & Acknowledgement Charity, Honorary, Political, and Remembrance liveries. Here we find Etihad, Emirates and American Airlines.

3. Airline Activity Destinations, Competitions, Celebrations, Events, Products and Services etc. Qantas, United and Air Indiafall under this category. There is another category of Retro Liveries, which are liveries from the past.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019


Each of the liveries featured

and who I think still have

as a sub-category to the

in this issue are indeed

the best and most original

standard liveries that air-

seen as a special livery, but


lines do, as they were once

some do not stand out as

the norm. Although none

they ought to.

are featured here, a good example is British Airways and their five retro liveries to celebrate their Centennial jubilee this year.

This suggests that it is getting increasingly more

Others have been seen be-

difficult to grab people’s

fore in different variations,

attention through this me-

such as the Star Wars liv-

dium because more and

eries, which was originally

more airlines are doing it.

pioneered by ANA in 2016,

So what makes for a great and effective special airline livery, that turn heads when it rolls past the gate, and also generates buzz and excitement when shared online and through other channels? To shed some light on that question, I have identified 3 principles when it comes


to making sure that your next special airline livery is actually “special�.

Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

However, I would place this




It has to be aligned or

It must have the “wow”

It has to convey a clear

connected to the airline

factor when people see it.

message that is easily understood.

brand somehow.

What has worked in the past? Here are some good examples of airlines that have mastered all three principles: The Lord of The Rings, The

a more complete and well

Hobbit and the All Black

connected campaign.

liveries. Each of them are aligned with the Air New Zealand brand in either a geographic or cultural way, and the campaign also featured other elements such as safety videos around the themes, which leads to

Brussels Airlines

extremely well executed, and have received heaps of attention, and there is no doubt whatsoever as to what message they are conveying.

Brussels Airlines has also

Smurfs, Tomorrowland,

recently launched a num-

Magritte, Tintin and the na-

ber of liveries called Belgian

tional football team called

Icons, which is exactly what

the Red Devils ( Not to be

they are. Like Air New Zea-

confused with Manchester

land, these are very much

United), all of which scream

on-brand, beautifully dec-


orated (and painted by André Eisele) and convey their message loud and clear making them impossible to miss no matter which angle you see them from.


They are noticeable and

Of other noteworthy liveries that live up to these principles I would mention Finnair and their Marimekko liveries and Icelandair with their Northern Lights

The Belgian Icons are

livery. Kulula’s “ Flying 101”

featured on five Airbus

livery also hits the nail on

A320s and comprise of the

the head.

Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Air New Zealand

Why have special liveries in the first place? At the end of the day, the point of doing a special livery is to do something different and exciting that increases brand awareness and which tries to promote a or more of the 3 subcategories of the special airline liveries categories:

2. Awareness & Acknowledgement 3. Airline Activity

Many people are fascinated by planes, and they become even more interesting when they stand out from the crowd by sporting a special livery. Airlines know this, and use this to their advantage. Afterall, an airline’s aircraft are their most valuable physical assets, so they might as well maximize the use of them for other purposes than flying passengers and cargo from A to B.

Personal favourite: Alitalias Bulgari livery on their 747-200 Personal dislike: Alitalias McDonald’s livery on their MD80. What I would like to see: SAS - Scandinavian Airlines and Royal Copenhagen livery

Check out my article in the May 2019 Issue of airline marketing monthly where I discuss how airlines and advertisers can complement each others brands.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

specific element as found in one

1. Advertising


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

News from SimpliFlying

The SimpliFlying Global Institute

equip you with what you need to know about marketing and communication in aviation, through the series of courses we are developing. Join the institute at a special early bird rate now by going to our website.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

How would you like insights from 100+ aviation leaders to help you grow in your career? The newly launched SimpliFlying Global Institute will

In partnership with DLMDD


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

A guide to sonic branding


What’s the sound of your airline?

a result, a lot of thought of course goes into what passengers and potential passengers see on the side of them. Occasionally you will see special liveries, for example, LATAM’s, Virgin Atlantic’s and United’s Star Wars designs that we’ve covered in this issue. Normally however, your brand, logo and colours will be represented on the side of the aircraft, in a consistent and thought out way, so that your planes are instantly recognisable wherever they fly and convey a distinct identity. The same is true of other visual representations of your brand, from the cabin crew uniforms to the point of sale material on your check in counters, to even the furniture and wallpaper of your lounges. So why doesn’t the same thought and planning go into what passengers hear?


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

As an airline, your aircraft are the physical manifestations of your business and brand. As

Though more airlines and airports are aware of the importance of a consistent sound identity, many others still do the aural equivalent of leaving their aircraft all white, or having completely different patterns on different planes. That’s because they greet passengers with commercial music or even silence when they board, have standard hold music when they ring a call centre, and have nothing at all or easy listening on in the lounge. In this supplement we’ve teamed up with leading sonic branding agency DLMDD to look at why sonic branding matters and why it needs to be a priority now.

what the commercial opportunities for you are in creating a strong sonic brand. We’ve also looked at a selection of boarding songs, which the sonic branding experts at DLMDD have reviewed. Finally, we’ll summarise the commercial advantages that having a strong sonic brand brings. Once you’ve read this supplement and you want to know more about sonic branding, contact DLMDD for more information and an initial discussion.

About DLMDD DLMDD builds brands through sound. With experience of working for companies ranging from Amazon to Xbox, DLMDD is made up of a team of agency thinkers, identity creators and music makers. DLMDD collaborates with brands in building sound based experiences that strengthens the connection with their audiences, enhances their lives and remains in the public consciousness.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

We’ll delve into consumer research that both shows how people react to sound, and

The Sonic branding boom, Can you hear it?

Here, one of the agency’s founders, Max De Lucia talks about the importance of sonic branding and why they created the agency. We are being shaken by the seismic waves of a sonic branding boom. Many of the world’s most iconic brands are releasing sonic identities for the first time - and on some scale too, with premieres even being unveiled at the Grammys.

But why now? And why all at once? The meteoric rise of voice and audio-led tech has put sound on the map like never before. Global companies are increasingly focussed on finding their identities in this newfound world of sound and they are willing to spend to get it;

£1.3bn last year in a market estimated to be worth £25bn by 2025. 34.

Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Our industry partner this month is leading sonic branding agency DLMDD.

By day we are a team of experts from across the music, branding, psychology and advertising industries. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find a collection of people that have toured the world in bands, conducted orchestras, had singles in the charts and even performed for the Royal Family... Each and every one of us has lived music’s societal benefits first-hand and we have a rich history in bringing this power to brands on an international scale. Whilst there is no doubting that sonic branding is hot property and very much in vogue, sound has played an intrinsic role in life on planet earth since day dot.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

On this rapidly evolving global stage, we launched DLMDD. The world’s first specialist sonic branding agency to launch since this very boom; on a mission to help brands find their identity in a world now dominated by sound.

have found 43,000-year-old flutes made of mammoth tusk and we know that song is even older with pitched languages predating modern speech.

Today music and sound continue to unite communities across the globe; we sing to support our sports teams, to celebrate birthdays and to feel a sense of national identity. Audio identities are already embedded within our lives and cultures - they have been since the dawn of time. For this reason, we have founded the agency safe in the knowledge that sound will continue to be a more powerful universal language than the written word. We are here to help brands harness this ageless power. Everyone has pieces of music that trigger powerful memories and feelings - that can instantly take us back in time or across continents. So powerful in fact that the memory of music and sound has been seen to be spared when other memories fade.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

It is how we communicate and create communities. Researchers

In a world of media overwhelm and consumer bombardment of some five-thousand advertising messages every-day, music and sound effortlessly lodge themselves deep in our minds and subconscious; creating a lasting affinity to a time, place and emotion. But as an agency we are also fascinated by the behavioural effects of our tools too.

These applications, amongst others, begin to explore the broader possibilities of music’s uses that go far beyond the traditions of an audio signature. Of course, with behaviour comes psychology - an area which has been relatively underexplored in the marketplace to date. Our agency ethos brings together leading talent across the music business and underpins vibrant creative work with commercial science. The subjectivity of music and sound has long presented endless challenges for those working across our industries. To change this, we are working alongside eminent scientists and psychologists to employ ground-breaking research; allowing clients to quantitively measure consumer recall, recognition and memorability of audio throughout the creative selection process.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Music can fuel the adrenaline of athletes, make us become better or indeed worse drivers, help us concentrate harder and even send us off to sleep. Just imagine what music and sound can do for your passengers if deployed in the right way.

By measuring the impact of the work we make, clients can make decisions with the assurance of market appetite and commercial success. And so to the future and the twenty five billion dollar question - is all of this just a fad? Or is sound truly changing the way we are experiencing the world around us?

Over 100 million Alexas have flown off the shelves, the connected home market is set to be worth an estimated $40bn next year and there will be 72 million connected cars on the road by 2023.

wide open for brands to weave their identities across these new frontiers. Music and sound bring us together; they connect and inspire us. They are a universal language that transcend people, cultures and geographies across planet earth.

And surely that is the dream for any brand - to be heard, known and universally recognised. Get in touch with us, for more information on how your brand could be built through sound, and how your sonic brand will allow your customers to find you in places their ears can reach but their eyes can’t always see.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Consumer technologies and touchpoints are ‘sound ready’ and the playing field is

Did you know that it takes only 0.025 of a second to register and identify a sound? That means you process audio information 10x quicker than visual information. At the same time, music is the only thing in your auditory cortex that fires off every part of your brain simultaneously. We live in a world of sound, and sound and music are inherently based on emotion. With 75% of decisions being made on emotional rather than rational considerations, it’s important that the sound and music your customers hear have the right associations and trigger the right responses.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Combining sight and sound. The importance of a multi-sensory brand strategy

Ideally, your visual and sonic brand should work very much hand in hand. For an airline, that means what passengers see on the side of your aircraft should be matched by what they hear when they come on board.

Research has shown that multi-sensory brand communications elicits a 10-12 stronger neural response than mono-sensory stimulus. If your customers / passengers hear sound that is congruent with the visual identity of your brand, the impact increases by around 110%. And it works the other way as well, for example if you play a style of music on board which is completely out of sync with the visual cues your brand gives off. Incongruent sound with visual brand reduces impact by around 86%.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

However, one of the most compelling arguments for having an effective sonic brand is that it amplifies your other brand touch points, such as sight (logos, branding, point of sale) or even smell (in a retail environment).

environment (or say within one of your lounges), sound can amplify those sensations as well. One 2001 study showed that when ambient scent and music are congruent with each other in terms of their arousing qualities (in this case slow music with calming lavender scent or fast music with a stimulating grapefruit scent), consumers rate the environment significantly more positively, exhibit higher levels of approach and impulse-buying behavior, and experience enhanced satisfaction than when these atmospheric elements were at odds with each other. A second 2010 study backed that up, showing that if the music is congruent with a scent, it significantly increases the pleasure and satisfaction of shoppers. In the next piece we will talk about how technology means that consumer behaviour is increasingly sound related, after which we’ll talk about possible sound touch-points on the average passenger journey.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

It doesn’t only work with visual branding. If you employ smell or scents in a retail

Several years ago technologist and futurologist Andrew Ng predicted that speech recognition accuracy will be what pushes voice search into being not so much mainstream, but ubiquitous. His criteria was for this to happen was when accuracy moves from 95% accuracy to 99%. 95% is actually the same level of accuracy that humans have, and Google reached this threshold in 2017.


In other words, we’re reaching the point where machines and AI will be better at deciphering voice than the human ear. Accuracy increases usefulness, which increases adoption.

Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

How online user behaviour is being driven by sound - and what that means for you

For one thing it is often just more convenient to do a voice search on your phone, for example when on the move. And consumers are increasingly becoming used to devices such as Alexa or Google Home being in one or more rooms of their home, with the estimate being that 22% of US homes will have Alexa-type smart speakers by 2022.

Airlines on Alexa Changing user behaviour and the adoption of sound based technology and develop Alexa skills. Examples include easyJet, which offers flight arrival and departure information via Amazon Alexa. United’s Alexa skill goes further by giving you information on Star Alliance partner flights, in flight amenities (does flight X have WiFi) and even prices (‘what’s the cheapest flight from Chicago to Houston’). A few airlines also now allow voice checkin, for example Virgin Australia. As of last year, Virgin Australia passengers who have the Alexa skill enabled can say ‘Alexa, ask Virgin Australia to check me in’, and have their boarding passes sent to a designated mobile number. Meanwhile, last year American plugged into the Alexa skill developed by IFE company Spafax. With the new Skill, American Airlines customers can ask a variety of questions about the entertainment available on board their upcoming flight, including what titles are available, featured actors, ratings and much more.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

devices has led to a number of airlines to

next destination based on a number

oped Alexa skills, KLM launched four

of criteria), a departure planner (what

voice activated services on Google Home

time do you need to be at AMS), a flight

last year.

search function and finally a packing

This includes a travel guide (find your

planner which advises on what to pack based on destination and time of year.

Technology reinforces the need for a strong sonic brand The final point worth stressing about the move to voice based search and commands, is that the technology is of course AI driven. And so it also fits into the wider trend of routine customer service queries (e.g. ‘when can I check in?’, ‘what’s my baggage allowance’) moving from customer services agents to bots - be they chatbots, or voice operated ones. That in turn makes having the right sonic brand even more important. Customers are increasingly interacting with you via sound.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

While a number of airlines have devel-

The passenger journey and sonic branding opportunities

has different visual touch points, from the app where they select their seat and check-in, to the airport counters to the lounge and finally to the aircraft itself. But there are also aural touch points. As a result, we’ve looked at a typical passenger journey, to see where sound could play a part.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

As an airline, your brand

Making or querying a reservation on the phone

Conference call, you’ll be familiar with the above song. It’s ‘I’m on hold’ by UberConference’s former creative director and co-founder, Alex Cornell.

minimal distortion. Ideally of course your customers shouldn’t be holding at all, but if they are, it’s worth taking note of this USA Today study, which showed that over

It works for a number of reasons - when

half of customers who had ‘dead air’

the song was originally created Uber-

were likely to drop off after a minute

Conference was still a new business. It

with a quarter thinking they had waited

needed something original that would

for five minutes.

set out its brand personality.

By contrast, most respondents who had

However the song is also quite simple,

a message and music thought they’d

in that it involves an acoustic guitar and

been on the phone for less than a min-

drums, and that’s it. As a result, it works

ute with few dropping off.

when played over a phone line, with


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

If you have ever taken part in an Uber-

On your app and online When they open up your app, do they hear anything? How about on your website, what sonic or audio opportunities are there for customers to interact with?

Air France is an example of an airline which uses music as both a promotional and a brand building tool. The airline has a dedicated ‘Air France Music’ Facebook page, which has over 150,000 fans. Through the Air France Play app, as well as the Air France music microsite you can download and play audio. That of course gives you a taste of what’s on offer on the IFE system. As the selection is curated, you also of course start to form an impression of the Air France brand through the songs they’ve chosen to make available to you. In fact, Air France goes beyond music, there are meditation tracks for both adults and kids available via the app. The airline has also run a number of music based campaigns and experiments over the years. For example in 2012, Air France released an app that you pointed at the sky to download songs from passing aircraft.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

How Air France does it

In your lounges When your premium class passengers or frequent fliers come into your lounge, what do they hear? Right now, in many cases the answer is the rolling TV news on the screen and the background conversations / phone calls of other passengers. While you of course need to allow for the fact that there’s a demand for dedicated quiet and work zones in lounges, this is an opportunity.

tain frame of mind, and conveys something about your brand.

In retail outlets / restaurants (for airports) Many retailers already understand why they should play music and have the right kind of sound in their outlets. For example, depending on what you play, it can either speed up or slow the pace by which people move through the store. Think of duty free outlets placed right after security, or the ‘river of shops’ layout you have at many airports, where passengers have to navigate past every shop and restaurant before reaching the gate. Many passengers look to move through as quickly as possible, when really as retailers and as an airport you want them to linger. And there’s evidence that music and sound is one way of getting them to do that.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

You could have a music selection in your lounge that helps get passengers in a cer-

Interestingly, sales of certain impulse purchases - things you don’t strictly need for your meal - like shakes and smoothies, grew by even more.

At the gate Perhaps you’re an airline with your

They don’t want to be there, they want

dedicated terminal, like Jazeera in

to be on board, and when you are just

Kuwait (T5), Emirates in Dubai (T3) and

sitting or standing and waiting, 10, 15 or

Lufthansa in Munich (T2).

30 mins can seem a lot longer than that.

While it might not be desirable or

Here the right use of sound could play

practical to have sound / music echoing

a part. You might want to relax waiting

through large terminal departure halls,

passengers, you might want to get them

there are places you could consider

in the mood for their holiday depending

having it.

on the flight and destination, you might

For example - at gates, where passengers wait to board. Think of

want to give them a taste of what’s playing on board.

the boarding experience, especially for

Of course, what you play them needs

economy passengers. A lot of people are

to be thought through and needs to

packed into one room, and they often

be consistent with other parts of your

stand up and start queuing long before

sonic brand, which is where the sonic

boarding starts.

branding experts at DLMDD can advise.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

A 2017 study by the research arm of The Swedish Trade Federation and Spotify, found that “brand fit music,” which is music that strongly matches a brand’s personality, could lift restaurant sales by almost 10% compared to just playing random songs

On board - important given the rise of the silent traveller You could argue it’s even

get to the airport, they go

specifically about airline

more important given

through straight through

boarding music, where

the rise of the so-called

security or use bag drops

DLMDD founder Max De

silent travellers - passen-

which are increasingly

Lucia reviews a number of

gers who have minimal to


airline boarding tracks.

no interaction with your

There are a number of reasons why the board-

staff until they are on your aircraft.

Silent travellers may not interact with your employees until the point when

ing song or soundtrack is

Silent travellers choose

they board your aircraft,

important, not least that

their seats, check-in, or-

which is why making the

it’s a vital piece of sonic

der extras such as added

right impression, both in

branding that says some-

luggage allowance via

terms of your visual and

thing about you.

your app. And when they

sonic brand, counts.

play anything, but some do.

rather than selecting a tune

On arriving Finally, there’s the point to where you get your passen-

that you think sounds nice

gers to their destination.

For example, in the past

Someone on a two hour

dance for me’ from Michael

London Gatwick - Barcelo-

Buble on arrival on its wide

And that again brings us

na flight will obviously be in

body aircraft. Judging from

back to the point of having

a different frame of mind

some of the comments on

sound experts advise on

to someone who has flown

frequent flier forums, not

and develop every area of

overnight from Los Angeles

everyone was a fan.

your sonic brand, which is

to Paris.

KLM played ‘Save the last

Which comes back to the

or relaxing - not everyone likes Michael Buble.

where DLMDD can help.

That’s where carefully select-

importance of choosing or

Finally, we’ve taken a look

ing and calibrating sound

even creating something

at airlines that do make use

and music can come in.

that fits your brand and

of sound, and reviewed a

Right now most airlines don’t

your passenger profile,

number of boarding songs.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

In the next article we talk

A review of airline boarding songs More and more airlines now have signature songs or tracks that greet you when you board the aircraft. But what makes for a good boarding song? DLMDD’s Max De Lucia reviewed a selection from a variety of airlines for us. (Max’s reviews are denoted as MDL) Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways’ boarding music

MDL - It’s great to see (and

music should take us into the

was created by Dana Alfardan,

hear!) Qatar working with one

places, cultures and sound-

Qatar’s only female contempo-

of the few female composers

scapes of the carriers’ nations.

rary composer.

from the region. The prove-

As well as being the official composer for Qatar Airways, she has also composed the official song for the Lusail Stadium,

nance of music is so intrinsic to its authenticity and thus, this gives the brand’s sound strong foundations.

If I shut my eyes, I’m not necessarily transported to Qatar. Thus perhaps there is an opportunity here for the brand to pepper their sonic

which will host the opening

This is a very lyrical and nicely

experience with unique music

and closing matches of the

recorded brand theme. But

qualities from the country

2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

I do believe great boarding




ed by silence when boarding Lufthansa flights within Europe. However, this is the airline’s most recent boarding theme song. MDL - Lufthansa is such an iconic brand in the sky. But this music does little to live true to its famous visual identity and recently updated livery. You can imagine the conversations in the marketing department for their choice of sound - contemporary with a hint of the Miami beach bar. However, the result is a bland loop that does nothing to ingratiate passengers into the magic of air travel. You only have to look at the YouTube comments to see customers would like a change of sonic scenery!


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

On some frequent flier forums, passengers claimed they were greet-


ents a soothing combination of Oud and modern music while displaying all SAUDIA’s worldwide destinations.’ With Saudi Arabia having recently liberalised its tourist visa regime, more passengers may be hearing this soon. MDL - There is a great deal of repetition within Saudia’s boarding music. However, the brand and their composer have done a good job of striking a balance between music that is interesting enough to enhance passenger experience, but not so complex that it becomes a nuisance and detracts from what should be a relaxing experience. They also achieve a pleasant combination of Eastern and Western flavours. The oud is a nice touch and takes the listener straight into an enchanting and magical place. This is music that you can hear time and time again - you can listen actively or simply sit back, relax and enjoy the journey…


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Saudia has developed a boarding film, which the airline says ‘pres-

Air France

to the extent of having

used in a past ad cam-

its own Air France Music

paign, is The World Can be

Facebook page.

Yours by Telepopmusik.

were a German pop band! 2. There is cultural value in song already - Air France

MDL - A different but alto-

are able to capitalise on

While The World Can be

gether powerful approach


Yours is still used on board,

from Air France with their

the airline’s more recent‘

use of The World Can Be

France is in the Air’ ad-

Yours by French electronic

vertising and safety video

duo Telepopmusik. Most

used a customised version

airlines tend to adopt in-

of Glass Candy’s Warm in

strumental music but this

the Winter.

choice of commercial mu-

As mentioned earlier in this supplement, Air

sic is inspired. There are a few reasons for this…

France uses the music

1. It’s a good brand and

played on board as a pro-

artist fit. It wouldn’t be

motional and brand tool,

quite as authentic if it


3. The lyrics are so on point - “Look how it’s bright, open your door to see. The world can be yours, something to keep in mind” 4. It gives passengers a route into an authentic artist that they might never have heard of - and an opportunity to venture deeper into their catalogue of works.

Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Air France’s boarding song,


line in our boarding music line-up. MDL - This is love theme, emotion, glitz, Einaudi, sparkle and club night all rolled into one. There’s some lovely musical ideas in here but it’s a very intense experience. I’ve never flown Starflyer. But if I ever do, I’ll prepare myself for a musical indulgence that will be sure to get the heart beating a few BPM faster. The key goal of boarding music is to set the scene; to deliver the essence and DNA of the brand, but also to deliver an experience - most passengers want this to be a relaxing one. Whilst this is a rich and vibrant piece of music, it’s not one I think I could sit back and feel totally at home to. Lots of theatre here from Starflyer!


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

With 13 aircraft in its fleet, Japan-based StarFlyer is the smallest air-


three minutes in, was recorded on a Qantas flight earlier this year to Noumea, New Caledonia. The Qantas boarding song comes from Australian composer Haydn Walker. MDL - This is a lovely piece of boarding music - cinematic stuff from Qantas. This is a track that will inspire passengers who are jetting off on their next adventure, and provide the soundtrack for those reminiscing on their memorable moments as they return home. As listeners, we are immersed in intricate acoustic patterns that provide a sense of comfort and security whilst sweeping string lines evoke emotional and inspirational qualities. There’s a great line by Brian Eno from this body of work, Music for Airports - he says great ambient music should be “as ignorable as it is interesting�. Qantas smash this out the park.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

The above video, complete with boarding announcements about


last year when passengers complained about hearing Jess Gylnne’s Hold My Hand over and over on loop when flights were being held on the ground, waiting to depart. Hold my hand also features in Jet2’s advertising campaigns. MDL - The most controversial of them all, Jet2. They have famously driven audiences mad with their non-stop use of the Jess Glynne’s Hold My Hand. Brands normally struggle with consistency and so from this point of view, Jet2 buck the trend. But you’ve got to listen to your audiences - one passenger comments: I was stuck on a flight for three hours and they played this non-stop Who knows how long they’ll continue to hammer this down the cabins. But there’s no such thing as bad publicity and let’s face it, we’re all talking about it!


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Finally, we’ve included UK leisure airline Jet2, which made headlines


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Aviation Marketing Campaigns

Airbus and the Americas Cup

‘American Magic Team, when the competition next happens in 2021. Airbus will be providing expertise for the team’s prototype boat called ‘Mule’, as well as the full race boat called ‘Defiant.’ Airbus says that company engineers are being embedded with the team, while it trains in Rhode Island and Florida this year. With prominent Airbus branding on the team boats, the arrangement also clearly involved a significant paid for sponsorship fee, as well as technical expertise. The 2021 Americas Cup is being held in New Zealand. While the challenger line-up is as yet to be finalised, there are currently competitors from European countries - the UK and Italy. As a result, it’s interesting that Airbus chose to support a US team, clearly with an eye on the American market, especially in view of Boeing’s difficulties over the past year.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Airbus has announced that it will be supporting the US Americas Cup

Air Canada - Travel like a Canadian

Canada’s new ‘Travel like a Canadian’ ad campaign. In the ad, Oh acts out a series of Canadian stereotypes, and the fact that, as Air Canada puts it, Canadians are some of the most courteous and loved travelers. This includes her and another woman both apologising for bumping into each other, breaking up an argument between two girls by offering them poutine, and giving pre-flight boarding announcements in both French and English. Sandra Oh’s performance appears to be the start of a much wider campaign, with TLC being used as a hashtag for ‘Travel Like a Canadian’, and Air Canada highlighting that it will be working with other Canadian celebrities in the future.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Grey’s Anatomy and Killing Eve Star Sandra Oh is the face of Air

ANA Economy Class menu vote

airline ANA has been running a competition for the public to help choose Premium Economy and Economy menu items. This year’s menu competition took place over October. While last year’s dishes up for a public vote, were all curry based, this year all ten


are donburi (traditional Jap-

anese rice bowl) dishes. The idea behind the selection is to showcase the local flavour of ten Japa-

are split into ones representative of the Eastern and Western parts of the country.

nese regions. ANA held

The final vote round closed,

two rounds of voting, with

just as this publication went

participation open to ANA

to press on 27 October,

customers worldwide.

and the top four dishes will

Two micro-sites, one in Japanese and one in English display the dishes, which

be served on ANA flights starting in March, with the routes being announced in February.

Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Ever since 2013, Japanese

Austrian Airlines and KLM - Sneakers Last year we featured Lufthansa on our front cover, both for its limited edition sneakers, as well as for staging a sneaker day for employees.

Produced in the airline’s national colours of red and white, the sneakers are meant to underline ‘Austrianness’ to the outside world. At the same time as Austrian announced that it would be working with Puma, KLM unveiled a special ASICS KLM100 running shoe, in association with sports shoe brand ASICS. The first pair of shoes, which form part of the airline’s 100 year celebrations, were officially handed to KLM President & CEO Pieter Elbers by ASICS CEO EMEA Alistair Cameron. Only 5000 pairs of the shoe have been produced, which KLM staff were able to pre-order. The shoes were also sold to the public in limited quantities at the ASICS stores in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. This isn’t the first time that KLM has done something around sneakers. In 2017, KLM produced 150 specially designed sneakers, which came complete with an Amsterdam card, which were then auctioned off as part of a promotion to encourage Scandinavians to visit Amsterdam for a city break.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Now Lufthansa’s sister airline, Austrian Airlines, has come out with its own sneakers.

British Airways - Jason Hawkes photography

flight path, there are some really spectacular views to be had over central London and the Canary Wharf district. In addition, due to the runway length of LCY, most airlines, including BA, KLM and Alitalia, use either the E190 or E170, which of course have a 2-2 configuration, meaning there’s a much better chance of you getting a window seat. British Airways used this insight to recruit aerial photographer Jason Hawkes to take a flight from LCY to Edinburgh, to capture some of the most iconic sights of both cities. As well as taking photos for BA, Jason Hawkes produced a series of aerial photography tips for the airline, such as which lens to use, the shutter speed, as well as the


best seat to sit on (apparently 3A).

Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Anyone who has flown from London City Airport will know that, depending on the

Condor We will Fly You

ny’s UK travel business and airline to go under, the group’s German airline, Condor, has been able to keep flying thanks to a Government backed bridging loan. According to German travel trade magazine Reisereporter, the crew of a Mallorca - Duesseldorf flight came up with a novel way to celebrate the fact that they had made it through. Freddie Mercury’s ‘We Will Rock You’ was played over the passenger address system, but instead of ‘We Will Rock You’, the passengers were encouraged to sing ‘We Will Fly You’ whenever the chorus came on. The pilot then concluded this impromptu celebration with a talk about how he had been flying for the airline for 25 years, and was looking forward to flying for another 17 years until his retirement. The event was captured and posted on YouTube by Sean Leifels, one of the passengers.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

While severe financial problems at Thomas Cook caused the compa-

Delta - Pop up brewery

In the past we’ve been sceptical of the

lovers, and the world is full of breweries.’

value of pop-ups, wondering whether the

It also of course happens to be the case

cost involved in creating them is really

that Delta serves a range of international

justified given the often limited exposure

destinations from Seattle-Tacoma Inter-

(people walking past or taking part) that

national Airport.

you get.

The combination of those things led to

See for example our March issue, where

Delta creating a pop-up bar in Seattle on

a number of outside experts reviewed a

the weekend of 5-6 October featuring

pop up installation in London by Etihad.

beers from around the world.


However, it is worth pointing out that as

In addition to a selection from US, Delta

part of this tactic, Delta donated the pro-

offered up craft beers from the Nether-

ceeds from the beer sales to three local

lands, France, Japan, South Korea and



Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

According to Delta, ‘Seattle is full of beer

Emirates Karaoke Anthems

rently in its final stages in Japan) is Emirates. As part of the sponsorship, the Rugby World Cup social media team has uploaded the anthem of each participating nation onto YouTube and displayed the words underneath, calling it the ‘Emirates Karaoke Anthems.’ The idea of course is pretty simple - sing along by following the words on the screen.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

The official airline of the 2019 Rugby World Cup (cur-

ens, to film a series of rugby themed ‘rules’ on board Emirates aircraft, and posted them on social media. These short video clips feature Nigel Owens going up to passengers and blowing his whistle whenever he sees a rule infraction. The rules include things like ‘avoiding obstruction’ (getting out of your seat in a timely manner while others are trying to watch the IFE system) and ‘always stay on side’ (cue a clip of an Irish passenger falling asleep on a Japanese passenger’s shoulder.) For us these rugby rules clips really work. By tying certain aspects of airplane etiquette (e.g. squeezing past other passengers while you get out of your seat) to rugby rules, it brings the Emirates sponsorship to life beyond it being a badging exercise. In the last issue, we featured a number of rugby-themed airline campaigns, which included Emirates painting an A380 in special World Cup livery.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

At the same time, the airline itself recruited international match referee Nigel Ow-

Hong Kong Airlines Gif Stickers According to a LinkedIn post by Hong Kong Airlines’ assistant social media manager Leo P Chang,

As a result, Leo talked about how the airline created 30 new #GIF stickers that live within the Instagram and Snapchat libraries, with the whole initiative getting the airline a reach of 7+ million in just one month. As well as gif stickers on Instagram and Snapchat, we also noticed that Hong Kong Airlines has its own page on the gif library and social network, Giphy. To our knowledge, Hong Kong Airlines is the only airline to have a presence there. Hong Kong Airlines is one of the airlines which constantly impresses us with its marketing campaigns, as an example of how you don’t need to be one of the giants to come up with innovative, effective work. The airline made the cover of our July edition for its ‘Where Hong Kong Begins’ campaign, which you can access here.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

‘With Instagram Stories getting bigger and bigger, the #GIF sticker is the small and mighty tool to bring the brand into people’s day-to-day communications more closely.’

IATA - 25 by 2025

numbers of female flight crew - currently at just 5%. Examples include easyJet’s Amy Johnson initiative and Qantas’s Nancy Bird Walton programme, which aims to increase female pilot recruitment to 40% of the total by 2025. Now industry group IATA is trying to push for change and greater diversity through its 25 by 2025 programme. Central tenets are aimed at increasing the number of women in senior roles and under-represented jobs by either 25% against the current metrics, or to a minimum representation of 25% by 2025, as well as reporting annually on key diversity metrics. IATA member airlines who have already signed up to the 25by2025 campaign include China Eastern, Lufthansa Group and Qatar Airways.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Over the past few years we’ve covered efforts by airlines to correct the pitifully low

Delta - WING Flight

ation” - carrying 120 girls ages 12-18 from Salt Lake City to NASA in Houston. Delta says that ‘from nose to tail, the flight was planned and orchestrated exclusively by women – including the pilots flying the plane, ramp agents working on the ground, gate agents boarding the flight and women in the tower guiding the aircraft on its way out.’ Delta’s WING Flight originated in 2015 as an effort to diversify a male-dominated industry and expose girls to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers at a young age.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Meanwhile, Delta held its fifth-annual WING Flight - “Women Inspiring our Next Gener-

United - Fly the friendly galaxy

a Star Wars themed one, which looks ahead to the Rise of Skywalker movie out at the end of this year.

The safety video is part of a wider Star Wars campaign, which has seen the airline paint a 737 in Star Wars livery. We covered the announcement of this in April, and United now says the aircraft will be taking to the skies from November. United says that it will greet customers with classic Star Wars-themed music during the boarding process and distribute commemorative pins throughout December.


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Just as we were putting this issue to bed, United came out with a new safety video. It is

The aircraft’s interior will

Skywalker – through Mile-

destinations (London, São

also feature a special

agePlus Exclusives, the

Paulo etc).

plaque reflecting Unit-

airline’s platform that lets

ed’s relationship with Star

MileagePlus members

Wars: The Rise of Skywalk-

use miles to bid and buy

er and include headrests

exclusive items and expe-

affixed with the emblems


of the film’s dueling fac-

You get a glimpse of Star Wars characters like C3PO here and there and people sitting in a cinema watching Star Wars, but otherwise it feels like a pretty

be the last movie in the

run of the mill safety video

Star Wars franchise to deal

with just a bit of Star Wars

The airline says it will also

with the Skywalker story,

branding and music.

offer Star Wars: The Rise of

and so it’s arguably the big-

Skywalker-themed amen-

gest film event of the year.

the First Order.

ity kits.

This isn’t the first time this year United has created

That being so, we felt the

a movie themed safety

In addition, United will

video felt strangely flat

video, in May the airline

provide opportunities for

and low key. It follows the

released ‘Fly like a super-

MileagePlus members

format of previous United

hero’ coinciding with the

to attend the premiere

videos where the back-

release of the new Spider-

of Star Wars: The Rise of

drop includes different

man video.

Is it worth it? The whole campaign begs the question, is the investment worth it? And what is United trying to achieve and say about themselves as a brand?

However, Lucasfilm seems to be adopting an Olympics or World Cup style sponsorship strategy, with there being seven other

ed aircraft with Star Wars livery. True, those planes are not specifically The Rise of Skywalker themed, but a lot of people won’t make the distinction.

Yes, the corporate press

official partner brands, in-

As a result, it’s questionable

release has a quip about

cluding Porsche, Samsung

whether this will do much

customers and employees

and Bose.

for United as a brand, and

traveling to places “far, far away.” And yes, there will be a lot of demand for Star


Wars premiere tickets.

Then, there’s the fact that both Virgin Atlantic and LATAM have also paint-

whether the airline’s efforts might get lost among all the Star Wars noise.

Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

The Rise of Skywalker will

tions, the Resistance and

Brands featured in this issue Airbus Air Canada Air France Alaska Airlines American Airlines ANA Austrian Airlines British Airways Condor Delta DLMDD Emirates Etihad Hong Kong Airlines IATA Jet2 KLM LATAM Lufthansa Qantas Qatar Airways Saudia Singapore Airlines SunExpress United Virgin Atlantic United


Airline Marketing Monthly | October / November 2019

Air India

Articles inside

Delta - WING Flight

page 70

IATA - 25 by 2025

page 69

Hong Kong Airlines - Gif Stickers

page 68

Emirates - Karaoke Anthems

pages 66-67

Delta - Pop up Brewery

page 65

Condor - We will Fly You

page 64

British Airways - Jason Hawkes Photography

page 63

Austrian Airlines and KLM - Sneakers

page 62

ANA - Economy Class Menu Vote

page 61

Air Canada - Travel like a Canadian

page 60

Airbus and the Americas Cup

page 59

A Look At Special Airline Liveries

pages 19-28

Virgin Atlantic - Pitch to Rich

pages 16-18

KLM - Centenary

pages 13-15

Singapore Airlines - Unexpected Journeys

pages 10-12

What makes for a good and an effective airline livery?

pages 25-28

United - Fly the friendly galaxy

pages 71-72

Our cover story - WestJet's new ad campaign

pages 8-9

Editorial - Influencers and vanity metrics

pages 4-6

Sonic branding opportunities and the passenger journey

pages 45-50

How sonic branding adds to a multi-sensory brand strategy

pages 39-41

How online behaviour is being driven by sound

pages 42-44
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