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 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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