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Despite stalled growth in China, Brazil and Russia, a wave of newly middle-class travelers from the BRICs and beyond will start visiting international destinations in the coming decades — dwarfing the numbers we’ve seen thus far.
Sometimes, it’s not all about numbers, it’s more about people, big and small.
A key marketing ingredient to further connect with a brand’s demographic is having a relatable personality, life-size or bite-size.
British Airways and Ogilvy PR took this concept and experimented with eight-inch replicas of seven bloggers to build awareness for its Last Call fares. The airline collaborated with the bloggers and Quod, a 3-D printing company based in London, to print avatars of the bloggers for their mini-adventures.
The campaign ran from June 2 to July 31.
SkiftIQ noted jumps on British Airways’ Instagram Followers in the first week of July. According to Caolan Hunter, an account executive at Ogilvy who works with the British Airways social media team, each blogger was carefully selected to relate to a wide range of people. “We wanted them to be relatable to real people,” said Hunter. It was important they have a mix of interests, and have the affinity for trying something new.
There were four women and three men with Instagram followers that ranged from 300 to 3,250. Three of them were travel bloggers, Josh Ferry Woodward and Chris Osborn from Urban Travel Blog and Monica Stotts. The rest were experts known for insights into mens’ fashion, John Robertson, vintage savvy Fleur McGerr, culture Lauren Mahon and crafts Tash Cutts.
Since the Last Call fares product is for people who are spontaneous that have a tendency to book a flight with a lesser lead time, this character element was paramount to connecting with customers who would consider this type of booking.
In addition to establishing a connection with the demographic, planting the seed to book a trip was tied to helping the audience visualize themselves at a popular destination.
“If we could create a personal edge around that destination,” Hunter says “And something that helps to tie people in a humanistic way to that location, it will make people feel that they were already closer to achieving that dream.”
The result was a series of trompe l’oeil photos [above] of the bloggers in Berlin, Istanbul, Barcelona, Prague, the Balearics, New York City, Berlin, and Amsterdam. When looking at the growth in followers on the three social media platforms, the impact started to appear towards the end of the campaign, with Instagram gaining the most traction.
Being that British Airways already has a considerable social media following, the brand wasn’t as concerned with acquisition growth. “It was much more useful to talk to a slightly smaller group of people that would be much more interested in our content, rather than a larger group of people who it may not be as relevant to,” said Hunter.
British Airways Facebook Followers:
British Airways Instagram Followers:
British Airways Twitter Followers:
The Last Call activation was part of a larger campaign. #BestSummerEver included a weekly user-generated content contest for entries to win a free trip via Instagram, as well as candid video tours posted natively to Facebook and Twitter with vloggers, Emily Hartridge, Jimmy Hill, Nadine Sykora, and Laura Bubble.