Etihad “Why” campaign

I like a mix of rational and emotional values in advertising.

I’m often looking for the rational message – the sell, presented in an entertaining and engaging way. This for me is the essence of good advertising.

Here’s a new spot for Etihad that offers you the promise that Etihad are better and invites you into some website answers. The site gives you some super facts and figures to support the reason why so many people switch to Etihad.

Things like:

  • 6,999,603 – the number of rewards redeemed by members of Etihad Guest, one of the world’s most flexible and generous loyalty programmes etc

But you need to click to find it. http://www.whyetihad.com/global/en/ once clicked this is a convincing site and could increase consideration of Etihad.

But it is very rational, a lot of facts and figures, very static and with no pictures of people on planes (…a bit obvious, but the best demonstration of in-flight service). Virgin Australia did a nice job of cramming in the facts to a very entertaining ad with premium appeal and pace.

The experience of flying is becoming commonplace, but people still need to feel it is an experience that they can enjoy rather than endure. It is still a service based industry.

How much more motivating if we were shown specifics of service in the Etihad spot? Or better still, if so many people have switched to Etihad, this is inviting advocacy statements from customers – one of the most powerful sales tools as seen with Emirates. My mum now swears by Emirates…economy not first class (…when is too much really too much!?)

Also no mention of sports on the website? By their own admission, Etihad is “mad about sports. We sponsor Manchester City Football Club, Harlequins Rugby Team, the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team, the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship and the Abu Dhabi Golf Championships.” 

As a part of their strategy this is a big plus to the large percentage of people who also love sports and worth mentioning (particularly at Man City and F1 prices…)

But back to the “click” strategy – in an age of immediacy, it needs to be a big promise (usually prizes) or intriguing question to get people to click and justify claims in an ad or to find out more about the product or service.

The proposition for the airlines is multi-faceted. Particularly profitable premium routes where it needs to combine price and service to give great value. Traveling 14 hours means you need some comfort, entertainment and service as well as an affordable ticket and the security of knowing it is a major carrier with all the safety and efficiency you expect.

A lot of these answers are there (even if the in-flight experience isn’t best explained), but I think if you are making a big statement such as “people prefer us”, it makes the statement more effective to qualify it there and then in the ad. This ad could have had multiple variants which answered the “why” with a few of the reasons.

One argument for the “click and go” strategy could be the global usage and language variants, but advertising works pretty much the same way in any language. Asking consumers to click into a website to justify the claim is tough.

The casting (particulalry the sun bathing couple?) and CGI in the ad implied a tight budget and unfortunately it shows in the finished product. This is relevant when airlines have traditionally put all the bells and whistles into the ad, even Garuda has a touch of glamour.

The hidden gem in the website was the economy claim. Whilst premium expectations are all about service pre, during and post flight, an economy trip is nicely summarised by this which perfectly demonstrates the improved service and has a nice impact:

  • “Coffee or tea? That is the routine choice for most economy class guests. In Etihad Coral Economy Class things are rather different. A frothy cappuccino? Freshly brewed tea? Or perhaps a relaxing hot chocolate? The choice is as wide as our wide-body jets.”
Sometimes it’s the little things that really count and I wish they did the Sydney to Melbourne route!
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One thought on “Etihad “Why” campaign

  1. Etihad like Qatar Airways needs to make their customer service 5 star instead of the 1 star airline that it is. I have been waiting for two months now for approved compensation for lost luggage from them and nothing.

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