Social media campaigns - Air New Zealand - Middle Earth

Reflective review of successful and unsuccessful social media campaigns

Introduction

In this short reflective review, the focus will be on two commercial social media campaigns, one successful, the other unsuccessful.

AWS_Certified_Cloud_Practitioner

Air New Zealand “Official airline of the middle-earth” (successful social media campaign)

Air New Zealand, a relatively small airline in the aviation industry1Meltzer, M. (2017). "How a small airline made safety videos the best part of flying" [Online]. Available: https://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/air-new-zealand-airline-safety-videos [Accessed 29 October 2017]. , produced one of ‘The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made’ aptly named by the airline2Hall, S. (2014). "Air New Zealand Releases Sequel to Popular Hobbit-Themed Safety Video" [Online]. Available: https://marketingland.com/air-new-zealands-epic-safety-video-ever-made-way-viral-gold-105410 [Accessed 27 October 2017]. , which pays homage to the ‘The Hobbit trilogy’. The video shot in New Zealand, features characters dressed as Hobbits, in a mountainous Middle-earth like setting, encouraging passengers to use oxygen masks and buckle up.

Social Media Campaign - An official video banner featuring Elijah Wood and Peter Jackson in the background – Source - Marketingmag.com.au (2011)

An official video banner featuring Elijah Wood and Peter Jackson in the background – Source: Marketingmag.com.au (2011)

Air NZ began in-flight safety videos with a twist in 20093Marketingmag.com.au, (2011). "Social media success story: Air New Zealand" [Online]. Available: https://www.marketingmag.com.au/news-c/socialmediasuccessstoryairnewzealand/ [Accessed 28 October 2017]. . Their in-flight campaigns have amassed over 108 million views, ‘the middle-earth’ video amassed over 18 million views on Youtube4Youtube.com, (2014). "The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made #AirNZSafetyVideo" [Online]. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOw44VFNk8Y&list=PL1B2F86A85355AB80&index=9 [Accessed 29 October 2017]. . 6 million on Facebook and 1.6 million on Youku in China5Campaignbrief.com, (2014). "Air New Zealand's epic safety video via True, Auckland clocks up 16 million views in one week" [Online]. Available: http://www.campaignbrief.com/2014/10/air-new-zealands-epic-safety-v.html [Accessed 3 December 2017]. . Commercially, this video campaign helped the airline improve brand presence in an overtly crowded industry6Garcia, M. (2015). "Airlines That Turn a Safety Requirement into a Content Marketing Opportunity" [Online]. Available: https://skift.com/2015/03/02/airlines-that-turn-a-safety-requirement-into-a-content-marketing-opportunity/ [Accessed 29 October 2017]. . This social viral video-enabled further PR with top international media outlets, BBC, CNN, New York Times, and Huffington Post7Thisistrue.co, (2017). "Air NZ: The most epic safety video we’ve ever made" [Online]. Available: https://www.thisistrue.co/posts/case-studies/air-nz-most-epic-safety-video-weve-ever-made.html [Accessed 26 October 2017]. . It also produced lots of views on social media outlets and further free PR8Marketingmag.com.au, (2011). "Social media success story: Air New Zealand" [Online]. Available: https://www.marketingmag.com.au/news-c/socialmediasuccessstoryairnewzealand/ [Accessed 28 October 2017]. . All this PR on social media and on online news outlets, also translated into more sales for the airline9Garcia, M. (2015). "Airlines That Turn a Safety Requirement into a Content Marketing Opportunity" [Online]. Available: https://skift.com/2015/03/02/airlines-that-turn-a-safety-requirement-into-a-content-marketing-opportunity/ [Accessed 29 October 2017]. . These types of video social media campaigns not only improve brand awareness/sales but also correlates in improving New Zealand’s country image as a great tourist destination, which increases the volume of international visitors10Fitton, S. (2015). "Movie Tourism – New Zealand" [Online]. Available: http://stephmfitton.wixsite.com/movietourism/case-study [Accessed 24 October 2017]. .

Besides commercial gain, the video also adds educational value for its viewers, as it teaches about in-flight safety. This is particularly important for first-time flyers, and regular travelers wishing to brush up on the knowledge of safety in an emergency. The campaign suited social media, as it not only created brand awareness for commercial purposes but also included an educational message about in-flight safety. It not only appeals to all ages with its underlying Hobbit theme but also creates a community, conversation, and genuine connections11Garcia, M. (2015). "Airlines That Turn a Safety Requirement into a Content Marketing Opportunity" [Online]. Available: https://skift.com/2015/03/02/airlines-that-turn-a-safety-requirement-into-a-content-marketing-opportunity/ [Accessed 29 October 2017]. ,12Newman, A. A. (2011). "Small Carrier Gets Big Tailwind from Social Media" [Online]. Available: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/07/business/media/07adco.html [Accessed 23 October 2017]. .

As social media wasn’t specifically created for commercial purposes, commercial content often fails, due to the nature of hard-selling videos and ads. They tend to interrupt a user’s social media experience. This video allows users to engage with the video, without the underlying hard sale element.

Coca Cola’s Russian Christmas Marketing Campaign (unsuccessful social media campaign)

The campaign of 2015, ruffled a few feathers across social media channels. The row erupted after Coca Cola ran a Christmas card campaign on popular Russian social media channel, VK13Dallison, P. (2016). "Coca-Cola map mix-up angers Russia and Ukraine" [Online]. Available: https://www.politico.eu/article/coca-cola-map-mix-up-angers-russia-ukraine-crimea-advert-annexation/ [Accessed 26 October 2017]. , with a snow-covered map of Russia, which didn’t include Crimea, a contested region between Russia and Ukraine. It caused outrage among Russians, Coca Cola apologized, re-posted it, only to cause offense to Ukrainians, who consider it their own territory.

Coca Cola Christmas social media campaign on Vkontakte depicting Crimea as part of Russia (circled in blue) - Source - Euromaidanpress.com (2016)

Coca Cola Christmas campaign on Vkontakte depicting Crimea as part of Russia (circled in blue) - Source: Euromaidanpress.com (2016)

This campaign didn’t work for several reasons. Coca Cola should have paid more attention to the intense geographical and historical situation surrounding the disputed region. Coca Cola also claimed that the map was produced by a third-party agency working with its Russian affiliate, which had made the changes to the map, without Coca Cola’s consent14Eckel, M. (2016). "Cola Wars: Coke Stirs Outrage with Map Showing Crimea As Russian" [Online]. Available: https://www.rferl.org/a/coca-cola-russia-crimea-ukraine-map-outrage/27469353.html [Accessed 30 October 2017]. . They also corrected the map twice, to up-ease firstly the Russian consumers, only to alienate the Ukrainian users15Crilly, R. (2016). "Coca-Cola upsets first Russia then Ukraine with New Year greeting" [Online]. Available: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/12083808/Coca-Cola-upsets-first-Russia-then-Ukraine-with-New-Year-greeting.html [Accessed 30 October 2017]. . While the campaign was intended for Russian speakers, Coca Cola forgot that many Ukrainians speak Russian. In fact, around 16 million Ukrainians are registered on Vkontakte16Tass, (2017). "Russian VKontakte social network sets traffic record in Ukraine" [Online]. Available: https://www.rbth.com/news/2017/05/17/russian-vkontakte-social-network-sets-traffic-record-in-ukraine_764794 [Accessed 30 October 2017]. .

Some suggestions for the future, Coca Cola should invest more time in getting to know the local markets when there are territorial disputes. This could mean that they would consult PR & Media agencies from those regions. It is also imperative from a global brand perspective, to understand local conflicts where their products are marketed. It needs to stay away from debatable issues, which include religion, culture, language and geographical issues.

As Vkontakte has Ukrainian users, it should have created an alternative image for the postcard campaign, such as Moscow or famous Russian landmarks. Coca Cola almost alienated a combined market of 180 million people. After all, marketing and politics are usually local.

Docker Training
References
1 Meltzer, M. (2017). "How a small airline made safety videos the best part of flying" [Online]. Available: https://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/air-new-zealand-airline-safety-videos [Accessed 29 October 2017].
2 Hall, S. (2014). "Air New Zealand Releases Sequel to Popular Hobbit-Themed Safety Video" [Online]. Available: https://marketingland.com/air-new-zealands-epic-safety-video-ever-made-way-viral-gold-105410 [Accessed 27 October 2017].
3 Marketingmag.com.au, (2011). "Social media success story: Air New Zealand" [Online]. Available: https://www.marketingmag.com.au/news-c/socialmediasuccessstoryairnewzealand/ [Accessed 28 October 2017].
4 Youtube.com, (2014). "The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made #AirNZSafetyVideo" [Online]. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOw44VFNk8Y&list=PL1B2F86A85355AB80&index=9 [Accessed 29 October 2017].
5 Campaignbrief.com, (2014). "Air New Zealand's epic safety video via True, Auckland clocks up 16 million views in one week" [Online]. Available: http://www.campaignbrief.com/2014/10/air-new-zealands-epic-safety-v.html [Accessed 3 December 2017].
7 Thisistrue.co, (2017). "Air NZ: The most epic safety video we’ve ever made" [Online]. Available: https://www.thisistrue.co/posts/case-studies/air-nz-most-epic-safety-video-weve-ever-made.html [Accessed 26 October 2017].
8 Marketingmag.com.au, (2011). "Social media success story: Air New Zealand" [Online]. Available: https://www.marketingmag.com.au/news-c/socialmediasuccessstoryairnewzealand/ [Accessed 28 October 2017].
9 Garcia, M. (2015). "Airlines That Turn a Safety Requirement into a Content Marketing Opportunity" [Online]. Available: https://skift.com/2015/03/02/airlines-that-turn-a-safety-requirement-into-a-content-marketing-opportunity/ [Accessed 29 October 2017].
10 Fitton, S. (2015). "Movie Tourism – New Zealand" [Online]. Available: http://stephmfitton.wixsite.com/movietourism/case-study [Accessed 24 October 2017].
11 Garcia, M. (2015). "Airlines That Turn a Safety Requirement into a Content Marketing Opportunity" [Online]. Available: https://skift.com/2015/03/02/airlines-that-turn-a-safety-requirement-into-a-content-marketing-opportunity/ [Accessed 29 October 2017].
12 Newman, A. A. (2011). "Small Carrier Gets Big Tailwind from Social Media" [Online]. Available: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/07/business/media/07adco.html [Accessed 23 October 2017].
13 Dallison, P. (2016). "Coca-Cola map mix-up angers Russia and Ukraine" [Online]. Available: https://www.politico.eu/article/coca-cola-map-mix-up-angers-russia-ukraine-crimea-advert-annexation/ [Accessed 26 October 2017].
14 Eckel, M. (2016). "Cola Wars: Coke Stirs Outrage with Map Showing Crimea As Russian" [Online]. Available: https://www.rferl.org/a/coca-cola-russia-crimea-ukraine-map-outrage/27469353.html [Accessed 30 October 2017].
15 Crilly, R. (2016). "Coca-Cola upsets first Russia then Ukraine with New Year greeting" [Online]. Available: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/12083808/Coca-Cola-upsets-first-Russia-then-Ukraine-with-New-Year-greeting.html [Accessed 30 October 2017].
16 Tass, (2017). "Russian VKontakte social network sets traffic record in Ukraine" [Online]. Available: https://www.rbth.com/news/2017/05/17/russian-vkontakte-social-network-sets-traffic-record-in-ukraine_764794 [Accessed 30 October 2017].

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *