Emirates airline was established in 1985, operating two leased planes flying passengers from Dubai to the rest of the world. Since its establishment, the airline company has significantly focused on quality as opposed to quantity a strategy that has enabled the company to grow at great lengths. Over the decades the company has acquired more than 265 aircrafts flying over 155 destinations in more than 80 countries. On average an estimated 1500 flights depart from Dubai every week to various global destinations. As a result of the company’s continued investment in development and quality customer service, the company has risen to become one of the most influential airline companies in the world. Emirates have invested in various aspects of the business acquiring one of the world’s largest fleet of planes including Boeing 777 and Airbus A380s. Customer satisfaction and comfort are the main focus of the company; thus the company continuously invests in new and innovative approaches to attaining their goals (Emirates, 2018).
On 1st November 2018 Emirates launched the “Fly Better” better campaign on various media channels. According to Emirates president, Sir Tim Clark, the launch came on the same day that Emirates airline first flew their customers to Karachi from Dubai. The president further asserted that despite the exponential growth that the company has experienced over the decades, there commitment and promise to their customers remains constant. “Emirates is committed to providing their customers with enjoyable flight experience.” Sir Tim Clark further asserted Emirates innovative strategies stating that innovation and “being better’ was in the ground into the company’s DNA. It is critical to note that Emirates were the pioneers in the airline industry to provide personal screens in individual seats in each class. Also, the company introduced better onboard communication services including telephone and Wi-Fi. Also, Emirates introduced private suites with specialised facilities including bars and shower spas among others(Emirates, 2018).
Overview of the “Fly Better” Campaign
The “Fly Better” campaign was launched on 1st November through an advertisement aired on various communication channels including social media platforms. The advertisement showcases the diverse offerings of the airline’s award-winning onboard entertainment system. The advertisement was directed by legendary director Michael Gracey commonly famously credited for the “The greatest showman” musical which became a global hit. The ad spot is unique and innovative as it takes the viewers on a journey where a female cabin crew member morphs into a dancer switching from various dance styles representing various cultures including pop music, Bollywood and South Asian music and dance among others. The advertisement also includes dances with icons for WIFI at the background as well the cabin crew engaging in football to symbolize sporting channels available on the entertainment system. Despite the company hiring a Hollywood director, the advertisement was developed within the company by Richard Billington, head of brand Emirates airlines. Aside from the campaign being posted on digital and traditional advertising platforms, the “Fly Better “campaign was rolled out on various event portfolios and sponsorships. In a couple of days, the advertisement had been viewed over 10, 000 times(Time,2018).
As previously discussed, Emirates airlines operate flights in more than 140 countries. Hence their customers are of diverse cultures, religion, and languages. The “Fly Better” campaign is targeted to a large and diverse audience as it is a combination of various cultures and aspects. For instance, the dance moves that are characterised by the cabin crew are from the United States, Europe, Asia, and South Asia. It is apparent that the target audience is the global community. Secondly, the customers used by the dancers as well as the crew are modest regardless of the setting. It is critical to note that Emirates airlines are a member of the Emirates group, a government-owned organisation. Since the company is from the Middle East, and so is a significant portion of its customers, the advertisement limits exposure of body parts to a bare minimum as per Islamic norms and practices(Time,2018).
On the other hand, the advertisement does not focus on religion or politics; hence it is not offensive to any section of people. The ad in neutral in its approach concentrate on entertainment. In respect to customers, Emirates carries passengers of different age groups, and as a result, the advert is appealing to both the young and old. The advertisement is simple, and it does not require one to think much about its content. It is apparent that the ad targets a universal group of people regardless of age, religion, gender, profession and social class among others as its appeal and relevance is universal.
On viewing the “Fly Better” campaign advertisement, it is apparent that the designers and directors carried out multiple media planning activities. Media planning is one of the most crucial activities in advertisings as it facilitates the selection of media channels in which the advertisement is to be posted. Emirates being an established company has massive resources. Hence they are not limited in cost when it comes to selecting a media channel. In the 21st century, the internet has become a major influencer in various sectors. Social Media platforms have improved the quality of entertainment and communication hence making them one of the strongest marketing channels. Emirates have invested in various communication channels including social media. Emirates marketing and customer service teams manage accounts on various social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook among others. Since social media platforms are accessed by large populations globally, the company selected social media as a media outlet for the “Fly Better” campaign.
Applying social media as a preferred outlet for “Fly Better “campaign provides a wide variety of benefits for Emirates. Firstly, social media provides the greatest reach compared to traditional forms of media. The global community is constantly on the internet for various reasons including education, entertainment, work, research and communication among others. The “Fly Better “advert can be viewed on the internet in any part of the world by the click of a button. Secondly, social media is one of the most cost-effective marketing channels as the cost required to post videos online is limited. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram allow users to post videos and adverts at no cost at all. In a scenario whereby an organisation requires additional exposure for content including adverts, the company pays a fixed amount. In the case of Emirates, they have invested a specific amount on various social media outlets to facilitate the broadcast of the advert on social media as well as the internet on multiple web pages. Through search engine optimisation strategies, the company has invested on various sites to facilitate the advert to pop up on relevant sites including travel blogs, travel e-magazines, e-news and transport journals among others. Social media is considering being more useful as it is less costly as compared to other forms of advertising channels. Due to its digital capabilities, online users can forward the same advertisement to their friends, family, and colleagues through the sharing features. These provide great exposure for the company in a limited amount of time at a competitive rate.
The second media channel applied by Emirates in the “Fly Better” campaign is the use of traditional advertising strategies including television. As compared to social media and the internet, the cost of television adverts is higher as companies scramble for prime time space. Nonetheless, Emirates has invested in televisions advertising through the purchase of prime time spots in various television channels in over 150 countries.
The third media channel applied by Emirates is various events, endorsement deals, and social corporate responsibility avenues. Emirates are passionate about sports and have entered into numerous agreements to facilitate the construction and management of football fields in various countries. Also, the company also invests in multiple clubs who wear Emirate branded sporting attire. In each of the events at the stadiums supported by Emirates or when a team wearing Emirates branded attire is playing a match, the company uses this as a platform to advertise on the screens inside the stadiums. The impact is highly effective as the adverts receive an audience of thousands of people giving the “Fly Better” greater exposure.
The primary objective of the “Fly Better “campaign was to assert to Emirates customers and potential customers that the company was serious about providing a wide variety of onboard services to ensure that they have memorable flight experience. The “Fly Better” campaign advert focuses on entertainment options provided to passengers on board. In these particular “Fly better “campaign advertisement Emirates in also communicating some factors; hence they have set a list of communication objectives.
Firstly, Emirates wants to communicate that they are a market leader in innovative onboard services thus making them a preferred airline company. At the beginning of the advert, the cabin crew does not refer to the customer in a collective term but rather by his name “Mr. Jones.” The communication objective being to inform present and potential customers those Emirates is committed to catering for each customer’s needs and wants. Also, Emirates aims at capturing the attention of the audience and drawing with to the rest of the advert.
The second communication objective in the “Fly Better” campaign advert is that Emirates offers a wide variety of entertainment thus catering for the tests and preferences of passengers regardless of their race, culture, religion, tastes, and preferences. The cabin crew morphs first into a club setting dancing to pop music popular all over the world yet indigenous to western countries. The second morph is into an Indian Dancer dressed in a “Sari” the traditional attire for Indian women. The Third morph is of South Asian dancers, the nationality of the dancers is not specific as they could be Japanese, Korean, and Malaysian or Chinese, collectively they represent South Asian Culture. The multiple cultures included in the advert also communicate that Emirates is a global airline company with multiple global destinations. The multiple cultures highlighted in the “Fly Better” advert are more effective in communicating that the company operates flights in more than 150 countries. The approach is simple, creative and indeed useful.
The third communication objective that Emirates hopes to achieve in the “Fly Better” campaign advert is that aside from being sensitive to various cultures. The company understands that its customers have diverse interests. For instance, a section of the passengers would be interested in sporting activities and perceive sporting channels to be a preferred form of entertainment. Another part of the passengers regards music as the best form of entertainment. Hence the company provides access to multiple music channels. Some groups would prefer to use the internet for entertainment and other purposes; therefore Wi-Fi would be there preferred option. Wi-Fi services provide access to the internet thus giving the passengers the freedom to explore and select alternative forms of entertainment if the one offered by Emirates fail to cater to their needs. Also, Emirates also informs the audience that passengers who would like to continue with a variety of functions including reading, business, go on social media and check email are provided with the tools and freedom.
The message communicated by Emirates in the “Fly Better” campaign advert is active and loaded as the company assures the audience which includes current and potential customers that the company has developed an entertainment system aimed at catering for all there entertainment needs regardless of what they are. Also, the audience cannot fail to find something entertaining in the entertainment system irrespective of their age, gender, culture, religion, taste, and preference.
In the “Fly Better” campaign advert Emirates has applied a variety of messaging policies aimed at ensuring that the audience receives the message. The first message strategy employed by the Emirates is emotion as the company uses feelings to sell. It can be noted that at the beginning of the advert, the customer is surprised when the cabin crew refers to him by his name. The surprised look is as a result of a good feeling associated with appreciation, personalisation and indeed cares. The passenger is astonished that the cabin crew knew his name, making him feel like a valued customer. Secondly, the cabin crew has a great smile from the beginning to the end of the advert regardless of the morph taking place at the time. Smiling is an indication of happiness, a feeling that many people desire. Also, the cabin crew’s smile is inviting to the audience as it captures and maintains their attention. The various techniques applied in the advert to create an emotional connection with the audience are highly effective as the audience feels and desires to experience the Emirate brand.
The second messaging strategy applied by the Emirates “Fly Better” campaign is the unique selling proposition. Emirates is an airline company that offers a common service, but the product “Fly Better” is unique to the company. Emirates have positioned itself as an innovative company committed to offering customers a lasting travel experience. There the company has shifted the focus on its core offering which is flights from one destination to another and placed the focus on the experience as the core offering of the company. Also, the experience being offered is unique to Emirates and is yet to be replicated by other airline companies hence it is only associated with Emirates
The third message strategy applied by Emirates is the general strategy focusing on the category as opposed to a specific brand. It is critical to note that in the Emirates “Fly Better” advert the focus is not on a specific company offering entertainment services to Emirates but rather on entertainment. For instance, instead of the company focusing on a media company like show max, Netflix or Hulu as the company offering the entertainment services, Emirates has focused on all-around entertainment including various channels(Farzanah,2018).
The fourth message strategy applied by Emirates is positioning as the company has set itself apart from its competition by asserting itself an innovative company focused on customer satisfaction while creating a unique flying experience. Also, the “Fly Better” campaign focuses on the Emirates brand as opposed to the various products offered by Emirates airline. In the advert, the company does not mention first class, economy class or business class but instead focuses on the brand providing a single product associated with the brand to all its flying customers(Farzanah,2018).
Similar to the message strategy, Emirates has applied a combination of execution strategies. The most dominant approach involved in the “Fly Better” Campaign is the use of fantasy. The company has created an illusion around the entertainment system offered by Emirates. In that, the cabin crew morphs to various locations doing various things acting like a different person. The cabin crew transforms into a dancer, musician and football player in the advertisement. The morphing of the cabin crew creates an illusion a fantasy that the audience can go anywhere in the world and do anything while flying to their destination.
The second executive strategy applied is a lifestyle as it illustrates how the Emirates entertainment system fits into a passenger’s life enabling them to “Fly Better.” The advert starts with the passengers sited in comfortable sits in the plane. The passenger then views the screen directly ahead of him. In this single instant lifestyle has been applied to illustrate convenience, whereby the passenger does not have to strain or move from there sit to access the entertainment system. As the message is being communicated, lifestyle is applied in the various offerings including WI-FI. It is apparent that the current global community using the internet frequently thus being on a plane that limits your use of the internet could be an inconvenience to many passengers. Emirates offer a solution to the difficulty and boredom through the entertainment system(Hutchinson,2017).
From the beginning to the end the “Fly Better” campaign advertisement is consistent in various aspects which are an illustration that the advert was professionally designed. Colour pallet consistency has effectively been applied in the advertisement as the colours used are associated with the message. Also, the company uses bright colours as they symbolise happiness and only in a few sections of the advert do they use neutral colours for the sake of projecting the images. For instance, at the beginning and the end of the advertisement, the focus is on the plane; thus the company has used one of its planes The design of the inside of the plane, as well as the layout, is consistent with Emirate plans. Anyone in the audience who has flown on Emirates can easily recognise the inside design of the plane thus creating an aspect of familiarity. Secondly, the “Fly Better” campaign images in the advert are consistent across various media channels. In that, the “Fly Better” seen on youtube is the same one viewed on Facebook. The consistency applied to various media channels ensures that the target is not overwhelmed by varied content and creates familiarity with the brand(Hutchinson,2017).
Suggestions for Future Improvements
It is apparent that Emirates is a big spender when it comes to advertising as it is keen on quality and content. In the “Fly Better” campaign, Emirates has been successful in communicating and delivery of their message. Despite the high quality and success of the “Fly Better” campaign advert; there are some factors that Emirates should consider in future campaigns. Firstly, the company places a lot of reference to diversity in there advert as a way of illustrating that they are a global company. Despite this fact, Emirates fails to exercise diversity in the casting of the advertisement crew. For instance, the cabin crew used in the “Fly Better” advert is from a single race. When trying to communicate diversity, it is ineffective when you use a single race. Therefore, Emirates would have invested in numerous actors, and each time the cabin crew would morph into a person of a different race. For instance, she would morph into a Viking Warrior, A Maasai herdsman or and a Mexican Mariachi. Persons of diverse cultures speak volumes more as compared to a person of a single race changing their attire. Also, the “Fly Better” campaign fails to acknowledge the African Market. Predominately absent from the “Fly Better” are any features that resemble the African Continent. It is quite unfortunate that Emirates overlooked that aspect especially because the company has a considerably large market in the African continent.
All in all the “Fly Better” campaign advert was a superb piece of work; the company designed an exceptional and catchy advert that is appealing to people of diverse groups include in age, gender, religion, and race among others. The “Fly Better” advert was effective because the company applied a combination of strategies hence creating a greater impact. Indeed the “Fly Better” campaign advert was a profitable investment for Emirates.
Time Malta. (2018). ‘Fly better’ with Emirates retrieved at ‘Fly better’ with Emirates
Emirates. (2018). Our Company: About Us. Retrieved fromhttps://www.emirates.com/english/about-us/
Farzanah,Farveen. (2018). Emirates Launches New Brand Promise of ‘Fly Better.’ Marketing. Retrieved fromhttps://www.marketing-interactive.com/emirates-launches-new-brand-promise-of-fly-better/.
Hutchinson, Andrew. (2017). 3 Tips on the Importance of Visual Consistency (from Twitter). Social Media Today.
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