Episode #010 - Jodi Williams (Air New Zealand), DMOs and population growth, KLM Germany campaign
Episode 010 (and the last episode of 2018) is here and co-hosts Lauren and Andrés kick off by chatting with Jodi Williams, GM of Global Brand and Content Marketing at Air New Zealand, about the airline’s genre-defining safety videos and how they’ve been able to turn the most basic of airline content into a brand and business asset.
The first alternative-type safety video was released by Air New Zealand ten years ago in 2009 as an extension to a marketing campaign called Nothing to Hide, featuring body-painted cabin crew. Although they weren’t intending to create a whole new genre of onboard entertainment, Jodi says that “in quite an entertaining way, [that] definitely turned things on its head, and it took an untouched formula and disrupted the category.”
Since then, the safety videos have morphed into major campaigns of their own for the minnow airline, often showcasing the breadth of the Air New Zealand product offering, the natural beauty of New Zealand’s landscapes and the warm, humourous personality often associated with Kiwis themselves. This last point, in particular is communicated by the cabin crew who are always featured in these videos as “they're, ultimately, the face of the airline. They are the brand,” says Jodi.
The latest safety video from Air New Zealand is called ‘It’s Kiwi Safety’ and, once again, the airline has departed from convention to create something uniquely New Zealand, says Jodi. “It's a music video and we haven't done a pure music video before. When we started out we wanted it to showcase a different side of New Zealand. We've done a lot of great work showcasing the destination and landscapes… but what we really wanted to bring to life was some of the urban street scenes as well as celebrating the diversity of our people.”
And, in response to questions about the state of global airline marketing, Jodi observes that the real challenge right now is to make sure marketers serve the immediate and long-term needs of the business in what they do, “one of the challenges is balancing that long term brand building alongside the short term need to add revenue… often you see quick response, fee deals, travel offers, book now. But you need to get the balance right, you need to build the brand, you need the engagement, the storytelling, the creativity.”
In Trend Monitor, Lauren and Andrés discuss the burgeoning trend of DMOs being called on to promote population growth in their region or city. Lauren notes that her home town of Wellington in New Zealand has had an agency for a number of years whose combined mission is to attract visitors as well as permanent migration to the area and she believes it’s the right call. She notes that tourism is often the first way to experience a new place and that these visitors “may return a couple of times, intrigued by the lifestyle” and that “it's thinking about it more as, tourism is that sort of first step towards attracting a migrant [because] no one's moving anywhere until they come as a tourist.”
Andrés mentions the other recent example of Visit Cleveland where the city’s tourism and visitor bureaux are being called on to attract permanent residents of the once-prosperous mid-western American city, with a focus on convincing students to stay in the city once they’ve finished university.
Rounding out the episode is Campaign News and a review of new work from the Royal Dutch Airline, KLM, in their biggest source market, Germany. The challenge for the airline in that market is that about half of all Germans didn’t know what KLM was, instead confusing it for a bank, restaurant or radio station. So, to show people what they were missing out on, the airline became those three things that Germans thought they were and then revealed what KLM actually is.
However, Andrés thinks that the work falls flat because, amongst other things, it’s “a joke that you can only tell once”. Noting the particular challenge that KLM has with millennials (only 37% of that age group in Germany knows what KLM is), he says that if “that generation has a problem, then your [business’] future is kind of in trouble and I think you've really got to do something more than just turn yourself into what you're not, so I think that this is a very strange turn of events for this airline.”
Complete library of Air New Zealand airline safety videos//Air New Zealand on YouTube
That New Zealand police recruitment video we mentioned in the episode//NZ Police Recruitment on YouTube
Campaign of the week: KLM, We Are An Airline//Contagious
KLM lost & found service//KLM on YouTube