Skift Take

Travel marketers are becoming more savvy at relaying emotion than product, whether than be a place or airplane seat, in a bid to attract aspirational customers.

Airlines are finally following in hotels’ footsteps and transforming themselves, or at least their marketing messages, into lifestyle brands that focus more on concepts of passion, wonder, style and love than the logistics of getting from point A to B.


KLM loves to surprise its passengers onboard and then use that video to promote its onboard experience and customer service to millions online. The latest iteration of its surprises leads to passengers finding their seat with a note from their loved ones, that they’re flying away from, attached to the headrest. This kind of ambient marketing has taken off in recent years as the opportunities for exposure multiple online.

Turkish Airlines publishes an impressive video in honor of its sponsorship of French soccer team Olympique de Marseille. The short video tells a story about the people of Marseille and Turkish Airlines’ role in bringing the community’s passion to life with a single game day. The more closely that Turkish Airlines associates itself with sports teams and international communities, the broader its branding and the emotions associated with the brand can be.

Southwest Airlines‘ new TV commercial makes two checked bags look as good as a well-tailored suit. The ad is all the more significant given this week’s news that JetBlue will be adding bag fees for flyers who choose the cheapest fare option. Both airlines have better branding and customer goodwill than the other major American carriers, a position that Southwest appears keen on keeping.

This strange ad from Blekinge Public Transportation, in Sweden, is included for a curious look at how transport companies communicate change to passengers in different locations. The transport service no longer accepts cash onboard and wanted to educate citizens about the change. The metal lover is included as an ode to the city’s role as Swedish Rock Festival host.


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Tags: marketing, skiftadsweek

Photo credit: Turkish Airlines' latest video celebrates its sponsorship of Olympique de Marseilles. Turkish Airlines / YouTube

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