Ambush marketing comes to airlines: Germanwings takes over ITB Berlin using Facebook Places

Ambush marketing is not something we associate with airlines. It’s what we see generally during the soccer world cup, when advertisers try to associate themselves with the event, without even paying a fee. Google “ambush marketing” and you’ll find great examples.

Now, it seems German airlines are on a roll these days when it comes to quirky, out-of-the-box marketing campaigns. Earlier this week, we featured Lufthansa USA’s social media strategy, and now it its subsidiary Germanwings is learning fast from the parent!

The setting: ITB Berlin – world’s largest travel tradeshow
The challenge: Germanwings doesn’t even have a booth at the tradeshow, and has a €0 budget for marketing
The solution: Facebook Places to rescue. Germanwings sends two people to create Facebook Places locations for the booths of other airlines, only with a Germanwings twist.

If someone checked-in (announcing his presence at the location) at an airline’s booth, their status update on Facebook looked something like this:

Air Berlin: You’ll get to breathe Berlin air Cheaper with Germanwings!

Air France: France for a bargain price is only available from Germanwings!

Just imagine the impact of multiple people checking in to these places and updating their Facebook statuses. In fact, there were over 200 check-ins were shared with over 24,000 people on Facebook. Now, that’s a good reach for a zero Euro budget!

Watch the video for yourself and I’m sure you’ll appreciate their effort, and have a chuckle or two as well 🙂

What do you think of this effort? Do you have other examples of ambush marketing in the airline world? Let’s hear it in the comments, and over on Twitter

P.S: Thanks to @Airline_Stuff for this tip-off. Check out his awesome blog for some very cool airline videos.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/airline_stuff/status/56003206647517184″]

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Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam is a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is the Founder and CEO of SimpliFlying, one of the world’s largest aviation marketing firms working with over 85 aviation clients in the last ten years. Nigam is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior executives globally, from Chile to China. Nigam’s impassioned and honest perspectives on airline marketing have found their way to over 100 leading media outlets, including the BBC, CNBC, Reuters and Bloomberg, and into leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. He writes a dedicated monthly column in Flight’s Airline Business, challenging the typical assumptions about airline marketing. His new book on airline marketing, SOAR, is an Amazon bestseller that’s shaking up the industry and inspiring other industries to learn from the best airlines. Born in India, raised in Singapore, he now lives with his wife and two young daughters in Toronto.
Shashank Nigam
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