Air New Zealand’s I am Packed blog helps travelers SimpliPlan their trips better

“Voyeuristic” is perhaps one of the first words that comes to mind when visiting one of Air New Zealand’s latest initiatives. But that is soon replaced by other thoughts such as “Oh wow! I have to share this” , “This is incredibly useful” and finally “I want to travel”. The reason is simple: we, as humans, are not just social but curious creatures as well. And Air New Zealand has found a way to tap into these instincts. They call it:

 

I Am Packed

 

The airline has created/sponsored a blog called “I Am Packed” where users can share images of what they carry with them when they travel, together with some basic information about the items. All images feature the neatly ordered contents of a suitcase or travel bag to showcase the “art of packing”.

The page explains its reason for existing with the following words:

When we travel, packing our bags is the first part of the adventure. Finding the balance between necessities, showing off in a new city, and leaving space for all your shopping is an art. I Am Packed is your chance to show us how you travel and gain a little bit of inspiration for when you hit a packing road block.

 

So what’s in it for the airline?

And, if they are sponsoring it, why is the only sign of the Air New Zealand brand a tiny logo (and no name) at the top right corner of the page? Also, why didn’t they use their already well known blog “The Flying Social Network”?

Our answer is a rather simple one. This is meant to be a creative space, where users can express themselves and influence each other. The airline is present and the purpose is to get its brand associated with travel, hence the presence of the logo and the travel theme, but the core idea is the creation of a free, sharable and ad-free environment. Moreover, when you deal with today’s  connected travellers, you must remember the New Social Traveller Life Cycle and engage them at every stage of their journey. Air New Zealand has smartly jumped in at the early SimpliPlan stage (preceded by SimpliDream – you can check our some interesting initiatives here).

This is, we feel, a highly sophisticated branding exercise, where the company creates a space for the users to express themselves and relies on their own curiosity to discover the brand. The small logo and the absence of the words “Air New Zealand” are of course no accident. The name of the blog has been placed before the logo: curious users will naturally click on the logo to finish the phrase that starts with “I am packed by…”.

We believe that this blog, experimental as it might be, is an early sign that companies are learning quickly and starting to create non-restrictive spaces where users can interact, where content is created and shared without spending advertising dollars and where brands and wanderlust can meet as loving companions, not business partners.

 

Are you an airline looking to engage the connected traveller? Find out how at engage@simpliflying.com.

Marco Serusi

Marco Serusi

Senior Consultant at SimpliFlying
Marco Serusi is SimpliFlying's director of consulting and has worked on major client projects with the likes of LATAM Airlines, London Heathrow and Airbus He has also delivered training in digital aviation strategy for hundreds of executives globally and spoken at several aviation conferences worldwide. He is well known for his cutting-edge research into crisis communications and social media trends. Serusi started his career in aviation after graduating in Air Transport and completing his Masters with a specialization in marketing. He is Italian who also speaks Spanish and English fluently and has lived in several countries including the UK, USA, Italy and Spain. He has been with SimpliFlying for over 6 years. You can talk to him in Italian, English or Spanish. You can also tweet him at @simplimarco, e-mail him at marco@simpliflying.com.
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