In their 20th Anniversary year, we were tasked with amplifying Star Alliance's member airline brands by reviving the romance of travel and encouraging people to fly more on the culturally diverse Star Alliance network.
When you're with Star Alliance, you're part of something bigger
In today's experience economy, "elite status" comes from doing stuff far more than buying stuff. Against this backdrop, Star Alliance's mission to fuel cultural connections should be more relevant than ever,
We investigated the human, social and cultural importance of international connectivity and its contribution to global progress. We discovered, in a peer reviewed study from Columbia University, that success in today’s world directly correlates with international travel.
People who have international experience or a more international cultural background are better problem solvers and display more creativity. As a result, they are more likely to create new businesses, products, or be promoted.
In the recent climate, with some becoming more averse to ‘differences’, dividing the world into ‘us’ and ‘them’, these are in fact incredible times to explore, discover and embrace the world around us. So we set out to unlock this insight, inspire more travel experimentation, reveal great cultural stories and reward cultural curiosity
To achieve our objectives, we reframed Star Alliance as the ultimate partner for High Value International Travelers to not just see the world, but embrace and connect with the cultures around it.
We set out to design an experiential, digital and social program that didn’t just talk about connecting cultures, but inspired new ones. Our ambition was to highlight the scale and benefits of their network by celebrating the stories of their travelers and the connections and adventures they had made possible.
We rewarded the best cultural insights by creating 20 ‘air miles millionaires’. At the centre of the ecosystem was a crowd sourced, global mapping tool, of the most amazing cultural experiences. Ensuring that future travelers have the inspiration and utility needed to have their next cultural experience with Star Alliance.
To spearhead our campaign, we developed a partnership with two global media powerhouses – National Geographic and Wall Street Journal - because of their strong credentials in premium travel and global exploration, powerful reach of our target audience in key global markets, and shared passion for making great story-telling content,
Collectively, we created a rich celebration of 20 years of Connecting People and Cultures, firmly looking to the prospect of future cultural experiences and the endless possibilities they can open-up.
We developed the campaign in two phases:
• Phase One drove awareness of, and inspired participation in, the mileage millionaire competition
• Phase Two introduced Connecting Cultures. In a world of ‘snackable’ films, Snapchat and 15 second pre-rolls, we wanted to engage consumers for more than just a fleeting moment – so this long form branded travel series was created to take frequent travelers on a more rewarding journey.
Nat Geo’s Digital Nomad - Robert Reid – became our campaign ambassador; appearing in the video series, campaign assets and selecting competition winners.
As part of the competition mechanic we created a piece of technology that enabled entrants to generate their own cultural ‘selfie’ image – a silhouette of themselves combined with an image of their favourite cultural experiences to share. These submissions, included a short description of their experience and were instantly uploaded to the global mapping tool on the Star Alliance website, ensuring it became the centre of gravity and inspiration for social-savvy travelers.
So how do you inspire the most seasoned of frequent flyers? By taking Robert Reid – the most seasoned of travel journalists – on a journey of discovery. Challenging him to take on five unique cultural adventures – from getting in the ring with a Muay Thai martial artist, to building himself a home in -50°C, each selected by the five founding airlines.(see link to video trailer, for reference)
It turns out the man who’s seen it all, hasn’t. The poignant series (7 – 8 minutes per stunning episode) super-charged Robert’s own passion for travel. In his own words, “When you allow yourselves to embrace something different, it embraces you…you will find experiences, and cultures and friendships and lessons that can change your life”
We generated awareness and drove traffic to the Star Alliance website, where the films were hosted, via paid digital display & video, and social media across our two media partners. This was supported across Star Alliance’s owned media channels, as well as their member carriers, with creative leveraging assets from the series.