Everyflight.com brand campaign for AirTran’s wifi launch – exclusive interview

AirTran, the American low-cost carrier, announced a couple of days back that it’s launching wifi on every single one of its 136 planes by mid-July. It wasn’t just the scale or speed of the implementation that startled many, but also how the announcement was preceded by a very innovative social media brand campaign.

And I took this opportunity to bring SimpliFlying’s readers up, close and personal with the brain behind this campaign – the Creative Director for the Everyflight.com project, Pat Hanna.

AirTran everyflight.com

What was Everyflight.com about?

Over the last three weeks, AirTran has been running a teaser promotion asking their customers what they would want to see on every flight. The integrated teaser and launch campaign was developed in partnership with Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago, and was supported by TV spots, radio, Internet banners, out-of-home and airport signage.

At the heart of the effort was www.everyflight.com where people could make their own suggestions, vote “boo!” or “yah!” on previous submissions, view charts and graphs including a leader board and poll map, and sign up for a chance to win a seat on every flight. Upwards of 230,000 votes have been cast and 30,000+ suggestions made ranging from “mimes” to “bunk beds” to “Clint Eastwood movies.” I personally tried it and found it to be very engaging.

Why a social media approach to launch AirTran’s wifi?

Pat explains in his interview that there was already a lot of talk about wi-fi,  and AirTran needed to break through the clutter. So there needed to be a different approach in making this a competitive advantage for the airline. And how did they do this? Firstly, by announcing a fleet-wide rollout, which no other large airline had done. And more importantly, launching it through social media, where people could go to a website to vote what they wanted to see on every AirTran plane! And this personal involvement is what made the campaign go viral in just three weeks. Now, that’s what I call leveraging social media well.

Pat further goes on to discuss the how the campaign was conceptualized, what were the success metrics and risks at the beginning and what happens with the other top suggestions on the website, which was developed by FirstBorn. I invite you to watch the exclusive interview with him right below.

Special thanks for Erin Olson from CKPR who tirelessly worked to make this interview happen!

So, what do you think about this campaign? Do you think AirTran could have done a better job than this? What lessons do you think other airlines can learn from this campaign? Let’s discuss in the comments.

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam is the CEO of SimpliFlying and a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought-leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior aviation executives globally, from Chile to Canada and from Sydney to San Francisco. Shashank's perspectives have found their way into major media outlets, including CNN Travel, CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg UTV, Mashable and in leading publications like Airline Business, ATW, Aviation Week, and others. Shashank studied Information Systems Management and Business Management at Singapore Management University and Carnegie Mellon University. Hailing from India, he splits his time between Singapore and Vancouver, among other cities.
Shashank Nigam
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Showing 4 comments
  • ADSL Viettel
    Reply

    Thanks man, just what I was looking for. Worked like a charm Thanks so much…

  • ADSL Viettel
    Reply

    Thanks man, just what I was looking for. Worked like a charm Thanks so much…

  • ralph
    Reply

    I'm curious why there is such a disparity between this campaign and AirTran as a whole. The company does not appear to have an official Facebook page and their Twitter presence is dismal, at best.

    Did you ask about this?

    In my opinion, this is an example of leveraging social media for buzz, but failing to transform that buzz into a solid consumer base that could be draw on for later communications.

    Yes, it's great that I can ask for a green olive pizza on every AirTran flight, but it's still lame that I can't have my immediate pragmatic concerns addressed quickly over the web.

  • Pizza Press
    Reply

    It pays to ask customers of their feelings towards a product or company. It helps develop good camaraderie and may help improve products and services. Any negative comments should be accepted with an open mind.

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