Indigo Airlines goes international chic with latest brand campaign – the model of a modern global airline

From a startup to an award-winning Indian airline flying international

It’s not often you see the CEO of a low cost airline in a tuxedo. But that’s exactly what Aditya Ghosh was dressed in, when I last met him at the CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence in Singapore last month – where Indigo Airlines won the Best LCC award. This was the second time we had met, after meeting at another award ceremony in London earlier in the year, where he carried a trophy home too.

Indigo has been on a streak. After starting operations just five years ago domestically and recording one of the best on-time performances in India, we predicted three years ago that the airline would end up being one of the best in the country (watch interview with CCO), and indeed they’ve gone on to become the second largest in India. They have recently started flying international and recently placed the largest aircraft order in history.

With such  growth comes the need to raise awareness internationally, which is what their latest advertisement seeks to do.

Source: Bangalore Aviation

A Runway Musical – an original, or is it?

Touted as the world’s first Runway Musical, we found out from our good friends at Bangalore Aviation that “the ad was produced in Los Angeles, under the direction of Steven Antin, director of the Christina Aguilera musical feature ‘Burlesque’ and choreographed by Denise Faye of ‘Chicago’ fame.”

It’s got an edgy feel to it. Very much like Virgin Atlantic’s early advertisements – which puts the Indian airline on the global map. You have to watch the advertisement to get a feel for it.

While I personally liked the latest campaign for being bold and unlike most other airline advertisements we’re used to in Asia, I was also sent another video from which the Indigo campaign is clearly inspired from. So while the concept is not completely original, I’d give credit to the Marketing folks at Indigo and their agency for at least trying to be different and standing out. After all, they’ve clocked almost 7,000 views on Youtube just a couple of days after releasing the video.

The evolution of the “on-time” airline brand

You’ll appreciate the latest campaign even more when you see what the brand has evolved from. You’ll see (below) that the 2009 campaign was animated and about on-time performance. In 2010, it was still about on-time performance, but had more of a Broadway musical touch to it. And the latest (above) still retains that brand consistency of on-time performance, but certainly catered towards an international market.

Indigo Airlines 2010 advertisement – catered to a domestic market

Indigo Airlines 2009 animated advertisement – touting on-time performance

We like the brand evolution. What’re your thoughts? Let’s discuss in comments and on Twitter (@simpliflying)

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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