Christmas Social Media Campaign by AirAsia airlines!

Let’s look at this interesting Christmas social media campaign by of AirAsia. Most of us would have come across the remarkable Christmas campaign by WestJet in 2013 when they surprised their flyers with gifts at the baggage collection belt. Check out this video for reference, before you read on to know what AirAsia did in Bangalore on this Christmas Day. I and many of you would have wondered if any Indian brand could attempt to do this!

AirAsia surprised its flyers with gifts at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport on the occasion of Christmas.

Soon the flyers started tweeting about this surprise..

Check out this album on AirAsia’s Facebook page which added to the coverage of this campaign.

Now, let’s analyze and learn what more AirAsia could have done to garner more eyeballs. After having invested enormous resources (read effort, time and money) in executing this first-of-its-kind campaign on Indian soil,  AirAsia could have leveraged social media and PR on a wider scale to popularize its efforts. Even after being so active on social media platforms, I accidentally landed upon this initiative only today (three days post the campaign!). No, I am not saying AirAsia could have invited few ‘influencers’ at Bengaluru KIA and splashed on social media about this campaign. I am sure their agency would have suggested this for sure ;).

Here are my views on AirAsia’s Christmas Social Media Campaign:

  1. Engage Audience: Even though it was meant to be a surprise, it would have been worth to engage with audience before the flight. May be few probing questions could have been asked to the flyers before they boarded flight about the surprise that awaits them on their arrival at destination. Also, once audience received the gifts at the baggage collection belt, those moments could have been captured for a nice post-campaign video. Few of the reactions could have been instantly captured through Vine and shared via Twitter. Live streaming of those moments could have been attempted via Periscope / Meerkat from AirAsia Twitter handle. My basic point is to capture emotions for video content. Videos speak the best!
  2. Campaign Hashtag: AirAsia could have announced a hashtag for this campaign and printed them on the name tags they posted on each gift. It could have been a subtle way for AirAsia to induce gift receivers to tweet / post around that hashtag. Today’s Twitter/Facebook/Instagram generation is very well aware of why and how hashtags are to be used. This could have helped AirAsia generate enormous UGC.
  3. Involve (Tease) Competitors: AirAsia could have tossed a googly at their competitors through social media. Ofcourse it could have been risky but that’s how you get mileage of traditional media when such events ‘get noticed’.
  4. PR coverage: It wouldn’t have been a bad idea at all for AirAsia to have involved their PR houses effectively to get this news covered on traditional media. Did you notice or hear about this initiative anywhere on media for last three days??? At least I didn’t. Let’s take all learning from how e-commerce players in this country involve traditional media for PR (apart from their paid full-page ads). Its imperative for a brand to leverage PR on such important and once-in-a-time opportunities.

Now some food for thought, for digital marketers reading this blogpost. Should a brand copy a campaign? Yes / No / Maybe? I once heard in a digital marketing conference where a speaker said ‘By the time you decide upon an innovative idea, someone else would have already implemented it at some corner of this world’. I go by this view. I don’t say you can’t be totally innovative, but there is no harm in replicating (or copying) a tried and tested idea and localize it to your target audience. However, a brand should always try to customize the idea for its target audience and build upon the idea. Something more can be always attempted and that’s where the creativity comes into picture.

As I said in the beginning when I first came across WestJet campaign, I always felt if any Indian brand could attempt to do it and here we are fast forward to 2015, where AirAsia attempts it. Kudos to the team, but there is always a scope for improvement 🙂

If you had come across any other interesting Christmas social media case study, please do share in the comments section.

Happy Holidays folks!

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I am presently employed as Associate Director (Paid Media) at Performics.Resultrix, a Publicis Groupe company. Prior to this role I was employed with HCL Technologies as Senior Manger (Digital Marketing). My earlier digital marketing assignments were with ZenithOptimediaIndia (Publicis Groupe) and AdGlobal360. You can follow me on Twitter @anandan22 for all conversations on digital marketing.

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