TAM Airlines’ Ownboard Magazine Delivers a Personalised Copy to Each Passenger

Do you remember the last time you read an in-flight magazine? No, flipping through it while the aircraft is taxing towards the runway or taking off, does not count. I certainly do not remember doing much more than that. In the age of tablets and smartphones, a connected traveler would barely take out time to go through a magazine that would often have generic and run-of-the-mill content.

And that’s what bothered Brazilian carrier, TAM Airlines. They found less than 11% of their passengers remembered what they read on-board. Worse still, passengers spent less than 3% of their time in-flight reading it. TAM saw that as a challenge and collaborated with their agency to showcase their customer centric approach.

The Ownboard Magazine

The idea was simple enough to think but quite complex to execute: To create a custom made experience, in the form of a print magazine for each passenger on the flight, complete with personalized covers and articles, and thus TAM Airlines’ Ownboard came into being.


The Flight

The anniversary flight between Milan & Sao Paulo was chosen implement this idea, but first information about each passenger was required to serve them personalized content. The answer was “Facebook Connect”. Integration of Facebook Connect during the online purchase process told TAM about the likes and interests for each passenger. They were also able to source photos and their friends list. All those preferences were converted into a completely customized magazine, containing specific articles about each passenger. It also featured sections containing some personal photographs and the kind of events they were fond of.

Right before boarding, each magazine was placed in the right seat back, surprising passengers as they took a seat.

The Outcome

  • All passengers took the magazine with them after the flight
  • 1200% increase in the time of reading the magazine during the flight
  • As per testimonies post flight, 100% of passengers felt that “TAM cares about them”

SimpliFlying Take

There should be little doubt about the ingenuity of this idea. Or the creative ploy behind it. In fact this campaign recently won a Bronze Lion at Cannes, in the Media category. For an industry which is usually an under achiever at global advertising/marketing festivals, this victory is indeed commendable.

There are lots of things to like about in this particular effort: For example, This proves how social media can indeed result and lead to “real” things, and how Facebook can add another dimension to it, the touch and feel aspect of the magazine. For that itself, we believe Facebook should make this campaign its own case study, a champion of possibilities that Facebook can lead to. Finally, it also reminds all of us about the importance of a seat number, about how personalization is more important than ever for successful airline marketing campaigns. Each and every passenger wants to feel special.

At the same time, we must also remember that campaigns like Ownboard Magazine are not scalable. Besides requiring a huge amount of effort in curating, editing and producing custom magazines, the idea would begin to diminish its utility with every iteration. To paraphrase a global airline campaign, “When everyone is special, no one is“, and that’s the Catch-22 situation all of us face as marketers.

Related Post: Will Airlines Embrace Personalised Marketing, and How Can They Start Now?

What’s your take on this campaign; tell us in the comments below, and share your thoughts over on Twitter (@simpliflying)

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.
Recommended Posts
Getting Next Post...
website by siddatwork.com