Buzz and Emirates developed fluffy icons which communicate the care the airline gives to children and families, and with ‘Fly With Me’ monsters they have created the Pokemon of airline amenity kits.
Australian creative firm, Buzz Products, makes high-end amenity kits well worth flying for, but the company’s brand-building power really shows with its children’s gifts.
For the past 15 years, the wizards at Buzz from Oz have made it their business help airlines build positive brand associations through desirable onboard amenities. Like their competitors, some of which have been around far longer, Buzz’s creatives consult with their clients to find the right mix of bag and contents which ideally fit the airline’s image, and align with passengers’ lifestyle preferences.
Through partnerships with brands like Escada, Kate Spade, Mandarina Duck, and TUMI, Buzz has helped airlines design kits which premium passengers will want to have and, more importantly, keep. Attractive though these adult products are, it’s the childrens’ kits which pack the most brand-building and loyalty value, if an airline knows how to show them off.
Buzz designed and licensed products for Qatar Airways’ Sponge Bob Square Pants collection, Saudi Arabian Airlines’ Micky, Minnie and Cars franchise kits, and helped Air New Zealand develop its own Let’s Go Jet Cadets line of children’s in-flight amenities.
The Branding Coup that is ‘Fly With Me’ Monsters
Emirates stands out among its peers for putting its kids amenities to work as part of its overall marketing strategy. In fact, Emirates gave its lovable ‘Fly With Me’ Monsters creatures a back-story, to compliment its own brand story as a family-friendly carrier.
As Emirates explains, the most recent monsters introduced: Zavie, Oggie, AirBoe (a hybrid eponym of Airbus and Boeing) and Fangdango, have “distinct characters and interests” which makes them “ideal travel companions to fuel a child’s imagination.”
Zaive, the bright red monster with the brighter yellow mohawk, is an ardent sports fan. He appears in a team shot with the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens.
Oggie, the three-eyed turquoise passport stamp collector, loves to be photographed with flight attendants at landmarks like the Colosseum, Eiffel Tower, and the Great Wall of China, doing double-duty to promote popular Emirates destinations.
Sunny AirBoe is an AvGeek, to his fluffy core, and gets to ride up in the cockpit with the flight crew.
Purple Fangdango, is the airline’s cultural ambassador. He enjoys books, films and music, represents the airline’s proprietary ‘ice’ in-flight entertainment system and gets to hang out with artists like Quincy Jones and will.i.am.
Emirates ‘Fly With Me’ Monsters have a dedicated a Facebook album featuring all these prominent pics–a prestige no average adult in-flight amenity kit can claim.
Terry Daly, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Service Delivery, says of the child-pleasing plush toys:
“Nearly 3.5 million monster toys have been distributed to Emirates’ young customers since their launch in 2012, and the popularity of these characters has been very encouraging. Now, our frequent young travellers can look forward to building their own collection of toys. We work hard to create an imaginative product tailored to children, because that ultimately contributes to a great family travel experience.”
As a continuation of the ‘Fly With Me Monsters’ narrative, Emirates released a YouTube video this April documenting the journey which two of its twelve Monsters made to Berlin so they could be reunited with the rest of their furry companions at the home of an avid collector: a young traveller named Anna.
Buzz’s representative Alena Kizner tells us that the “Buzz illustrators conceived the lovable Fly With Me Monsters brand focusing on adventure, companionship and comfort for young globetrotters.”
The Kids Are All Right
Buzz delights premium passengers with its Mandarina Duck and REN skincare kits for Virgin Australia, the TUMI kits for Delta airlines, and the ESCADA La Mer collection for Lufthansa, among others. But these kits, nice as they are, give pleasure to a select few for a short period of time.
They complement the luxury of the airlines’ premium product, but they don’t take on a life of their own. Buzz’s vibrant children’s kits please the recipients and their parents on all classes of service, and they hang around long after the flight is has landed—until its time to take off again and to collect another one.
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Photo credit: Blanket buddies for Emirates. Buzz