Announcing SimpliFlying Heroes 2013! Vote for the SimpliFlying Hero of March 2013 – It’s KLM vs ANZ vs Kulula

*Editor’s note: The poll has closed. An interview blog post with the winner of SimpliFlying Heroes for March 2013 will follow shortly.


SimpliFlying Heroes – Recognizing the most social-savvy Airlines and Airports

Over the last couple of years, SimpliFlying Heroes has proven hugely successful. To date, we have profiled 16 airline stalwarts who have truly rocked the social sphere with their innovative campaigns and leadership. This year we are back with the initiative but what’s different this time is that it is open to both airline and airport executives!

Starting this March:

  • Each month, the SimpliFlying team will nominate 3 outstanding folks heading digital/social marketing at airlines and put up their names, along with brief bios.
  • Our readers and Twitter followers are then invited to vote for the person they find the most-deserving.
  • The nominee with the highest number of votes will have a full-fledged profile written about them that month and will receive a Certificate of Achievement from SimpliFlying. (Here’s a profile from last year.)

At the end of six months (September 2013), one of the six profiled Heroes will get an opportunity to be a wildcard entry to this year’s SimpliFlying Awards for Social Media Excellence 2013, instead of having to go through a rigorous and extended voting and selection process that is the norm. (You may see our Awards for 2012 here).

Vote for the SimpliFlying Hero for March 2013!

Here are the nominees for March 2013:

Jo Brothers, Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand’s pipeline of creative content for online engagement is endless. ANZ continues to pump out campaigns that actively engage and entertain their fans online, such as ANZ UK’s “Blind Gate” for Valentine’s Day and most recently, the safety video starring Bear Grylls. The team behind ANZ’s stellar social media engagement over the years is highly applauded for their clever use of coloring contests and witty punch lines among many moves. Leading this team is Jo Brothers, Manager for Digital + Social Media, a seasoned practitioner who loves #people #tech #storytelling #planes.


Karlijn Vogel – Meijer, KLM

Every great airline has its distinct personality and KLM has done exceedingly well engaging its fans with delightful and heart-warming campaigns regularly. One such initiative (amongst many others) Bright Ideas For Kids takes an interesting angle with the public sharing ideas on making traveling with kids fun, and a panel of 10 kids will decide on the winning idea (who else would be better for the job?). The key to KLM’s social media success consists of 3 pillars – servicing, engagement, and ecommerce, with Social Media Manager, Karlijn Vogel – Meijer, as one of the driving forces behind this notable airline.


Cheryl Barnett,

A social media powerhouse to be reckoned with is Kulula. The South African low-cost airline punches way above its weight and leverages social media platforms very boldly and effectively to showcase its quirky personality. One such initiative was “The Most South African Flight Ever“. To tread so effectively in the online sphere where any misstep could cost an airline its reputation takes a talented team. In this case, Kulula is led by Digital Brand Manager, Cheryl Barnett.



Note: Voting closes on 22 March (12 pm ET).


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