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Appealing Air Travel Advertising

The Montreal International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) announced that in 2017 worldwide annual air passenger numbers exceeded the staggering figure of four billion for the first time, 280 million more than in 2016.

Aligned to this ever-increasing growth of International air travel is the expanded choice of airlines servicing International destinations available for consumers.

1. China Airlines, What Travel Brings You

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, Taipei, Taiwan

Airlines generally focus on a ‘goodwill factor’ in their advertising communication that influences both rational and intuitive consumer preferences.

China Airlines however, took the bold and sobering approach of telling it like it is. International air travel can have unexpected consequences, and they may not always be positive.

Directed by Ging-Zim Lo, ‘What Travel Brings You’ depicts what some of those consequences can be.

From breaking a leg, gaining weight, becoming unexpectedly pregnant, getting engaged in Rome, acquiring a ‘take-away’ marriage certificate in Las Vegas, spending too much money in New York, purchasing a plastic surgery makeover in South Korea that makes one unrecognisable from a driver’s license photograph, to even buying a statuette that’s haunted.

The Leo Burnett agency said the commercial was aimed at a generation of younger travellers who are seeking life experiences rather than merely scenic destinations.

They seemed to have engaged their target market with insightful success. The Chinese-language version of the commercial was watched 9 million times and motivated 6 million YouTube views within a month.

Viewer comments were hugely positive with numerous respondents claiming that that it was the first time ever they watched a commercial several times.

2. Danish Cancer Society, Help A Small Dane

Advertising Agency: &Co./ NoA, Copenhagen, Denmark

Alex Matthew-King, the Health Correspondent for The Independent News, UK, reports that owing to cheaper international air travel fares, the increasing affordability of jetting off to warmer climes by a new generation of sun worshipers, has seen skin cancer rates soar by 45% in a decade.

Skin problems caused by UV radiation exposure, can be largely avoided by sun-protection lotions, the wearing of sun hats or suitable shade providing provisions.

The &Co. Agency, part of the North Alliance of Agencies (NoA), teamed up with Denmark’s TrygFonden Centre for Child Research, to focus on the importance of sun safety for Danish children.

In just one week abroad on summer holiday, they can be exposed to as much UV radiation as 6 months back home in Denmark.

Superbly directed by Peter Harton, and filmed on location in Alcúdia on the Spanish Balearic Island of Mallorca, the commercial charmingly features Ramon, a young local, informing ‘small Danes’ about how to prevent becoming “red and boring” and not being able to play with him and his friends.

3. Spies Travel Agency, Do It For Mom, Do It For Denmark

Advertising Agency: Robert/Boisen & Like-minded, Denmark

It seems that Danish Moms are facing the very vexing and likely prospect that they will not have grandchildren one day.

The Spies Travel Agency however, has come up with a solution as this candid and entertaining commercial, directed by Niels Nørløv, explains.

Although the target group are mainly couples in their early thirties, Spies cleverly reached out to their 50-plus aged parents to send their children to popular summer holiday destinations.

Their successful endeavour motivated 6.8 million online views, 450,000 social actions and the campaign resulted in a travel booking increase of 114%.

4. Virgin Atlantic Airways, Love Story

Advertising Agency: BBDO, Johannesburg, South Africa

This multi-award winning 2005 classic, directed by Greg Gray of Velocity Films, for Virgin Atlantic Airway’s Upper Class travel offering, was voted Best International Travel Commercial in Campaign Magazine.

Shots Magazine, in their 100th issue rated ‘Love Story’ as one of the best commercials of all time.

The soundtrack of this amusing love story with a twist, is the hit song ‘How Deep is Your Love’ by the Bee Gees and written by the Gibb brothers.

5. British Airways, Magic of Flying

Advertising Agency: OgilvyOne, London, UK

As part of their integrated ‘Magic of Flying’ campaign OgilyOne and British Airways activated a billboard in London’s Piccadilly Circus.

The innovative real time tracking example of flight BA474 from Barcelona as seen in the commercial, won a direct category Cannes Grand Prix.

6. Turkish Airlines, Dreams

Advertising Agency: Lowe, Istanbul, Turkey

This well told story about the dreams of four children from a small Anatolian village in rural Turkey is a superbly crafted short film by director Bahadir Karatas.

The commercial took three months to film and remarkably, none of the children had appeared in front of a camera before. The story is centered on Turkish Airline’s commitment to developing regional air travel and accessible domestic links, not just international trade and tourism routes.

7. Wideroe Norwegian Airlines, Grandpa’s Magic Trick

Advertising Agency: McCann, Oslo, Norway

Wideroe is a regional Norwegian airline service to remote areas. Directed by Marius Holt, this quietly simple commercial with its enchanting story and majestic scenery, is a subtle metaphor for the magic of flying to bring people together.

8. Air New Zealand, The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made              

Advertising Agency: True Advertising, Auckland, New Zealand

Directed by Taika Waititi, the safety video with the bold claim of being the most epic ever made, was created for Air New Zealand by True Advertising in collaboration with Peter Jackson’s WETA Workshop Production Company.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbit inspired safety video demonstration was produced to coincide with Peter Jackson’s upcoming final installment of the second Middle-Earth Trilogy, The Battle of the Five Armies.

Filmed over six days in several ‘Middle- Earth’ film locations such as Hobbiton and Central Otago, the video features appearances by Elijah Wood, Dean O’Gorman, Sylvester McCoy, John Rhys-Davies (as Gimli) and New Zealand’s own Sir Peter Jackson.

9. Air New Zealand, Pete’s Discovered a Better Way To Fly

Advertising Agency: True, Auckland, New Zealand

Paul Middleditch directed this much lauded commercial by the Travel and Leisure industry, featuring actor Sam Niell as Pete’s ‘voice over’. Sam Neill also makes a cameo appearance as one of the passengers.

The commercial is part of a campaign to effectively establish Pete, the talking Kiwi, as an iconic spokesperson for Air New Zealand.

Factual airline information generally does not enjoy a high level of detailed brand recall, but Pete charmingly transforms Air New Zealand’s travel offerings into memorable persuasiveness.

10. Turkish Airlines, The Journey

Advertising Agency: Anomaly, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The Turkish Airline mini-movie ‘The Journey’ by RSA Films was directed by Ridley Scott and superbly edited by Jim Weedon to mark the opening of Istanbul Airport as the world’s latest and largest aviation hub with an annual capacity of 200 million passengers.

The commercial also marks Ridley’s return to directing commercials after an 13-year absence.“I decided to go back and click-into advertising because I love the chase and the speed of the job. The fact is that this project went beyond the limitations of traditional advertising, and allowed me the creative freedom to tell the story”.

Istanbul is a powerful backdrop to the visual narrative that brings together the main characters in an exciting and spectacular way, much as Istanbul has done for generations”.

‘The Journey’ follows a cat-and-mouse chase across Istanbul’s iconic landmarks and features Sylvia Hoeks, the Dutch star of The Girl in the Spider’s Web and Blade Runner 2049.

She described the short film as a compelling mystery; “As an audience, you’re chasing that woman with the main character trying to figure out who she is. I think that mystery leads in a sense to ‘go travel’.”

11. Heathrow Airport London, Coming Home

Advertising Agency: Havas, London, UK

To mark their 70th Anniversary, London’s Heathrow Airport released their first ever commercial. It featured a story about a teddy bear couple Doris and Edward who rapidly endeared themselves to millions of viewers.

Directed by Dom & Nick, filming was done on location at Heathrow during the Christmas season and the soundtrack features the Chas & Dave song “I’m Going Back”.

12. Heathrow Airport London, Doris and Edward Bair

Advertising Agency: Havas, London, UK

After the hugely popular response to the ‘Coming Home’ commercial globally, Heathrow Airport launched a sequal to the Doris and Edward story.

Directed once more by Dom & Nic, the story takes a sentimental look at how the teddies first met in the 1960’s. The soundtrack features Petula Clark’s Couldn’t Live Without Your Love.