An Inside Look at the Cebu Pacific Brand Refresh

June 2015 has understandably been a busy month for Cebu Pacific. The airline introduced an extensive brand refresh across all touch points, including aircraft livery on the first day of the month. The new design features hues from Philippines’ natural beauty, the colours of the land, sea, sky and sun.

If that wasn’t enough, Cebu Pacific ordered 16 ATR72-600s at the Paris Air Show last week, valued at $673 million on list prices. It will also be the launch customer for the new high density “Armonia” cabin.

We sat down with Candice Iyog, Vice President of Marketing and Distribution at Cebu Pacific, to get her thoughts on all that’s been going on at the airline, specifically the Cebu Pacific Brand Refresh in 2015.


SimpliFlying:  Congratulations on the brand refresh, Would you please walk us through the re-brand process, and the thinking behind it?

Candice: We conducted a full brand audit in the 2nd half of 2014, and found that we could benefit from an updated look. It was an evolution of the brand, not a revolution. We knew we wanted the brand to reflect our personality. It also had to represent the Philippines and look relevant globally, as we expand our network to more destinations. Cebu Pacific is already an established brand in the Philippines and Asia, and we want to use that as a jump-off point to the next level.


SimpliFlying: What was the need to for this brand refresh? Why now?

Candice: Cebu Pacific will celebrate its 20th anniversary on March 8, 2016. From being a low-cost pioneer in the Philippines, serving mostly domestic routes, we are now the largest airline in the country, operating a network spanning Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East. Early this year, we flew our 100 millionth passenger. We wanted our brand to reflect our roots and our growth as an airline. At the same time, we wanted to ensure we remain relevant and current, especially as we look at expanding to farther destinations. The Cebu Pacific team has always prioritized building an extensive network within and from the Philippines, because we know how much air travel makes a difference in the lives of Filipinos. We bring the Philippine warmth and sense of fun everywhere we go. Now, with the Philippines’ natural colors on our logo, we showcase the country to the world.


SimpliFlying: We recently wrote about the importance of liveries on our blog, tell us what is the importance of this change for Cebu Pacific? Do you see it impacting customer perceptions or decisions?

Candice: Yes, the livery is important. It is a larger-than-life representation of the airline and what it stands for. As such, it plays a part in a traveler’s perception of us, and his or her ensuing flight decisions. We certainly look forward to donning the new livery on our aircraft in the coming months. It is a more streamlined look, without losing the distinguishing design elements our aircraft has sported throughout the years – the yellow wings, the eagle, the “smile” below our flight deck. I would like to think it sets us up to become an even more relevant player in the global stage.


SimpliFlying: How would you describe the overall marketing strategy of Cebu Pacific, compared to other LCCs in the region?

Candice: Cebu Pacific is a travel partner and a travel enabler. With Cebu Pacific’s trademark low fares and extensive network, it is very easy to say yes to a trip. We are a fun and adventurous airline. As such, our domestic promotions, advertisements and content appeal to the Filipinos’ wanderlust and love for fun. Internationally, we promote fun Philippines, its festivals, natural attractions and the welcoming smiles of its people.


SimpliFlying: You were the first airline to use social media in Philippines. What is the importance of social media and digital marketing for your business now?

Candice: It is a very important part of our marketing strategy, as the Philippines is one of the most active and engaged countries on social media. Back in 2009, we began posting seat sales to our Facebook page. The Cebu Pacific Air Facebook community has now grown to over 2 million. Our Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn pages are also curated with relevant content. With online ads, we can reach those who are planning their trips, when they are thinking of flying or searching for flights. These lead directly to and contribute 50% of our total flight bookings done through the website.


SimpliFlying: We noticed you have retained Ceb, the plane mascot. Why?

Candice: Well, first of all, we love Ceb! It started when a couple of passengers drew a plane cartoon on one of our inflight satisfaction surveys. We chose to make it our official mascot in 2008. Now, Ceb the mascot is a bit more grown up, more dynamic and interactive. Ceb has soothed the nerves of many kids and first time fliers throughout the years. The mascot has also endeared Cebu Pacific to several markets such as Korea and Japan. Ceb always has a place in Cebu Pacific.


SimpliFlying: Asia is probably the most competitive low-cost market in the world right now, how do you plan to stay ahead of the curve?

Candice: Our latest adventure is our low-cost, long-haul product where few airlines in the world are succeeding at, So we’ll continue to innovate and adapt, and proceed with our scalable expansion. We remain focused on our strategy, strive for operational efficiencies, and work on providing a consistent travel product wherever Cebu Pacific flies to in the world.


SimpliFlying: What are the major campaign metrics that you keep track of in a brand re-launch like this one?

Candice: The response of the traveling public has been largely positive. We can feel a renewed excitement for the brand, and anticipation of more things to come. We continue to look at engagement and sentiment for online metrics, while keeping track of conversions on our latest seat sales.


SimpliFlying: Finally, what’s next for Cebu Pacific?

Candice: Cebu Pacific, moving forward, has the same business model and the same promise to its passengers, but it now has a wider influence. We currently serve over 17 million passengers a year, operate more than 2,200 weekly flights to over 60 destinations. The Cebu Pacific effect can be seen in how more Filipinos abroad can now come home more often, or how relatives in the Philippines can visit them abroad. We can see how we have become an enabler for national development through tourism.

As we take delivery of more aircraft and launch new routes, we will be able to introduce Cebu Pacific to more people. We get to make the Philippines more accessible to foreign tourists, and connect the Philippine islands to the world.


Vishal Mehra

Vishal Mehra

Vishal Mehra was leading Social and Digital marketing efforts at SimpliFlying from January 2015 to January 2016. A self-confessed commercial aviation geek, Vishal had led digital marketing campaigns at leading global agencies for 9 years, before finding his dream job at the intersection of aviation and digital marketing. His interests include Travelling, Technology, Podcasts (long before Serial arrived) and Beer.
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