It used to be that when you wanted to promote your product or service, you hired an ad agency and they would roll out the tried and true classics. You’d have a traditional print campaign, TV spots, radio, direct mail etc. Then technology stepped in and began to whittle away at these channels. The DVR killed TV ads for the most part. Twenty years after the birth of internet advertising, most people ignore them. There is a backlash against in your face advertising on social networks. The fragmentation continues, and with it, agencies are having to get smarter with what they do.
KLM Airlines is a brand that gets technology and the digital space. Over the last few years they have run a number of successful campaigns with deep hooks, or an exclusive digital presence. There latest effort which launched last week connected people from New York and Amsterdam with an offer to win free airline tickets by completing a virtual high five.
Created by Eigen Fabrikaat (DDB Group) and Minivegas the interactive installation was live for one day and offered participants from both sides of the ocean a chance to interact and help each other win. I didn’t see any connection to KLM’s social media hubs which kind of surprised me since they have such a strong presence, but it might be that I just missed it since this happened a week ago. None the less, it’s a clever idea, and one that shows how pushing the boundaries can create some really clever advertising solutions.
KLM has been a big participant in promotional marketing campaigns grounded in social media for sometime. The video below shows the latest from the Dutch airline. The “Must See Map” is built on suggestions of things to do, and places to see from friends responses to a social media query. It asks the traveler to simply ask friends in their social network where they have been and what they have done, then gathers all of this information into a single source.
What is great about this campaign is the fact that KLM will send you a print on demand high-res physical map. What I don’t like is the fact that the map will take 3 weeks to arrive, and there is no dedicated smartphone app. The free online site does a great job of integrating with all of the major social network players, allowing the traveler to gather vast amounts of tips but offers no dedicated smartphone app.
While the physical map is a cool souvenir for your trip, and ties to all the places your socially networked friends tell you to go; it is quite surprising that KLM didn’t take this one step further. A dedicated app is much easier to carry and use than a physical printed map. A dedicated app allows for recommendations to come to you long after the map is printed. A dedicated app allows the traveler to post feedback on friends recommendations. A dedicated app, takes the concept to a whole new level, and extends use far beyond the interaction of the website.
This is a great concept, and I hope that KLM goes a little further with it. KLM currently has 10 apps that they have developed for the iPhone, so I could see them taking this to a whole new level. When they do, “Must See Map” will be a home run.
As Facebook becomes more and more of giant advertising engine, companies are scrambling to produce advertising that fits within the social media platform, and is actually engaging for the user. This is a tricky balancing act between creating something that seems real, and less like an ad, or creating something that feels like an ad, and gets very little traction and social engagement from your user base.
KLM Airlines have tapped into something that represents Holland, and elevates Dutch national pride. Building off of Delft tiles, something that Holland is known for, KLM has created a Facebook application that allows fans of KLM to Delft themselves and create a Delftware tile of their Facebook profile picture. Facebook users can decorate their profile picture, add an inspirational saying and share with friends by using the KLM ‘Tile Yourself’ Facebook App.When you create and share your tile, you are automatically entered into a contest where the winners get to have their tile placed on a KLM jet, which will make numerous international flights promoting KLM and Facebook.
All of this is well and good, but the payoff for participation seems pretty weak. Yes you get to make a cool looking Facebook profile pic and share it with your friends, but in the end what are your chances of actually seeing your image on the plane? I saw this and couldn’t help but think, why didn’t KLM offer the winners a custom one off Delftware tile with their image on it? Or the winners get a free trip on the plane that carries the tile images? There are so many more possibilities for this campaign that seem to have been missed.