With border closings and stay at home orders, the airline industry has been one of the most impacted. Since almost all flights have been canceled and planes grounded, airline companies are struggling to find ways to continue to generate revenue and to keep their customers engaged. Many creative marketing campaigns have been launched, and there seem to be three main tactics: (1) engage users on social media by encouraging them to dream about their future vacation, (2) sell them vouchers and tickets in the future with increased flexibility and (3) simply promoting other businesses for ad revenue.
Several companies–such as EasyJet and Flixbus–have asked their customers to share their favorite destination. The goal is to keep the brand awareness up while also linking positive and relaxing experiences to the brand image. To encourage customers to participate, each company has started a sweepstakes contest where the winner will walk away with a free trip. Entering the sweepstakes is quite easy: just use the hashtag in a social media post. This is quite clever as the companies are attempting to leverage thousands of people who will share their favorite destinations, thus making their entourage dream and consider taking the vacation in the future.
Speaking of those future vacations, United and Flixbus have made it easily and hassle-free to book a trip. One of the most stressful situations concerning the airline industry is the moment when an unexpected event occurs and you need to cancel your ticket, a reality that all travelers have become all too familiar as a result of this pandemic. In an attempt to neutralize the bitter taste left by those traumatic experiences, United announced a flexible booking policy in late March that extends through the end of May. The company’s goal is to reassure customers that they do not have to worry if they decide to book a future vacation because all of their flights have the possibility to be rescheduled at no extra cost, should the need arise. Attacking the situation from another angle, Flixbus decided to offer vouchers valid on any trip in the future at a fixed rate of 14 EUR a voucher. What I find very ingenious about this campaign is that the company has taken the dreaded travel voucher that can never be used to a travel voucher that allows for plenty of flexibility and the possibility of a new, unknown future adventure.
Finally, momondo is a company known for aggregating multiple flights from different providers and sites to help consumers pick the one that is best for them. Because of this relationship, customers of momondo inherently trust the company as it is always trying to get its users the best deal. Thanks to this relationship of trust, momondo is the perfect company to give its users recommendations on deals. The company has leveraged this relationship to propose products that could be of interest to customers during this quarantine period; it has proposed products to help people keep themselves entertained at home. In the end, momondo simply exchanged one form of advertisement for another.
What are some of the travel deals that you have encountered? Which one of these marketing campaign appeal to you the most?