Aer Lingus: Star in your own LA Story
The purpose of this campaign was to raise awareness and ultimately drive sales of the new direct route to LAX that was being launched by Aer Lingus in May 2016 as the transatlantic flight market in Ireland is very competitive.
In order to do this, we partnered Aer Lingus with one of TV3’s most iconic home produced shows, Xposé, specifically Xpose’s coverage of The Oscars 2016, which has a seamless fit with LA due to the aspirational feel of the show, mirroring the perceived glitz and glamour of LA life. The campaign was executed across a number of platforms including broadcast on TV3 and 3e, print in Xposé Magazine and digital across tv3.ie and 3player. The title of the campaign was ‘Star In Your Own LA Story’, which was aimed at landing the message with viewers and ultimately consumers, not to just watch LA on the big screen but to visit for yourself and star in your own story. To harness this idea, we offered viewers of TV3 a chance to star in their own LA story courtesy of Xposé and Ireland’s national airline. We wanted to know exactly what our viewers wanted to do if they won a trip to LA and we wanted to bring them to star in this story. We also secured money can’t buy access to a pre-Oscar red carpet which was a dream of many of the entrants. After this extensive activity across the group, we were informed by Aer Lingus, that the Transatlantic flight bookings on their website had increased by 9% in February in comparison to the 2015 bookings and in March they had increased by 36% in comparison to 2015.
Aer Lingus had announced a number of new routes that they were flying to and one of those routes was LAX. They needed to build awareness for the LAX route which was set to begin in May 2016. The transatlantic flights market in Ireland is very competitive – however, Aer Lingus has the largest share by far. Other airlines in the market include American Airlines, United, Air Canada and most recently Ethiopian Airlines (flights to LAX only). Another major competitive issue is leaking passengers to non-direct services from the UK – the Irish public has been used to flying to London/Manchester to fly on to the States/Canada in the last few years – price and availability of direct services have been the issue. The overall Aer Lingus Transatlantic product has been improved over the last year with the full upgrade of the new Business Class and is boosted by the continuing ability for their guests to pre-clear US customs and Border Protection at Dublin and Shannon airports. Over the last number of years, we can see that program sponsorship has evolved. Brands cannot only rely on sponsorship stings alone to deliver a message, drive sales growth and build brand awareness and relevance. In light of this, we not only used sponsorship stings to drive brand awareness, we used cross station promotions, Xpose promotions and relied heavily on social media. We also know that television programs now have become much more of an immersive experiences for viewers. They want to feel connections with both the content and also the stars of the show. With this in mind, a brand’s involvement needs to feel very natural and authentic. This played an important role in the promotional element of the campaign as we have the capability to really welcome our viewers into our home produced shows and allow our on-air talent to feel accessible. This came to play when our winner travelled with the Xposé team to LA and experienced the red carpet lifestyle with them.
We required our winner to travel to LA on specific dates and at very short notice. The winner had to agree to being filmed on this trip and for the footage to be used on Xposé, across Aer Lingus’s own channels and in print in Xposé Magazine. We also required the winner to be active across social media for the duration of the trip. To ensure entrants knew all the caveats of the competition, we housed all the details on a tv3.ie microsite, which viewers were directed to when the promotion aired across the TV3 Group channels and on Xposé. Each entrant had to confirm in writing when they emailed their entry that they had read all the terms and conditions of the competition.
Under BAI regulation, there are restrictions around offers and prices which is the norm for Aer Lingus campaigns. To overcome this, the additional price messaging formed a section of the microsite and on digital assets used in the branding of the microsite. Key messages were also delivered in a double page spread in Xposé Magazine.
A multi-disciplinary 360 degree approach was adopted to deliver an integrated campaign across TV, print and online.
The initial activation was a cross channel promotion across TV3 and 3e.
A 30 second promotional VT for the Star In Your Own LA Story aired across TV3 and 3e across 10 days. This was created using footage of the Aer Lingus transatlantic aircraft and footage captured in LA which was voiced by Peter O’Riordan, Xposé presenter to ensure a clear link with Xposé
A 60’’ version of this VT also aired within Xposé itself across one week, totaling 15 days broadcast of the competition across the TV3 Group channels.
Alongside this activity, Aer Lingus sponsored all Oscars coverage on Xposé across the days leading up to the Academy Awards in LA and the days after where the Xposé team went through the best and worst dressed, the makeup looks, the hair looks and the winners themselves. A 10’’ sting aired around all Oscar content on Xposé.
The promotional VT directed viewers to a dedicated microsite which contained all of the competition details – tv3.ie/aerlingus.
The competition required entrants to tell us their LA Story and what they would do if they won a trip to LA. The email address used for entrants was AerlingusLAStory@tv3.ie
All ad placements on this microsite including skins, MPU and leaderboard were all owned by AerLingus.
Aer Lingus also sponsored all Oscar content on Xpose.ie for 2016, with logo placement across each article.
A substantial social media campaign was part of this execution and the messages were delivered across a number of channels including TV3 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Xposé Facebook and Twitter and Glenda Gilson also supported the campaign through her own personal social media accounts.
Double page advertorial spread in Xposé magazine which housed all key messages for Aer Lingus, exciting things to do in LA and a blog from our winner of her time in LA.
Money can’t buy behind the scenes experience with Xposé
The competition winner travelled with Ireland’s national airline with the Xposé team and was interviewed throughout the trip. Once the winner was announced, we travelled to Dublin Airport and began the filming of a 60’’ VT which would air in Xposé. Whilst in the airport, we filmed our winner and guest along with Glenda Gilson checking in at the Aer Lingus desks, going through the departure gates, walking around The Loop in Terminal 2 and finally on board the Aer Lingus flight to LA. On board, there were Go Pro cameras installed beside our winners and we captured footage throughout various stages of the flight. As part of the brief which we received from Aer Lingus, we were tasked with showcasing all that LA has to offer and so along with our camera crew and Glenda, we took our winners to all the best LA sights including the Hollywood Hills, Hollywood Boulevard, Universal Studios, Muscle Beach to name a few. In each location our winners spoke to Glenda about the attraction and how it had to be seen to be believed, another key message that Aer Lingus wanted to deliver with this brief.
Alongside the Xposé crew, our winners were taken to the red carpet at the Oscar Wilde pre-Oscar party. This was an absolute money can’t buy experience, which took a lot of planning to secure access. This experience was captured on all of Aer Lingus’s social media platforms, showcasing that flying direct to LA, you flight right in to the heart of all the action.
This footage was edited and aired within an Xposé broadcast which featured Oscar content and lived on 3player for 30 days. This was a first for Xposé as generally with a promotion we provide the winner with the prize and that is the end of the activity; however this was taking a significant step further in this instance so as to meet the brief requirements.
Integrated broadcast with print: We took a double page spread in Xposé magazine to further drive awareness of the new route that Aer Lingus were launching. We had our winner blog about her experience in LA and we included Aer Lingus key messaging in to the copy, including pre clearing US Immigration, flying direct and WIFI on board the aircraft. This was teamed with Aer Lingus creative from their OOH campaign and published as an advertorial piece.
After this extensive activity across the group, we were informed by Aer Lingus, that the Transatlantic flight bookings on their website had increased by 9% in February in comparison to the 2015 bookings and in March they had increased by 36% in comparison to 2015. Throughout the campaign we had a broad target audience of Adults 15+. The Xposé in show promotion reached over 300,000 Adults 15+ and the cross station promotion reached over 1.5 million Adults 15+. Because the entry requirements were so specific and the qualifying winner had to meet a certain criteria, we knew that we would be limiting ourselves to the numbers of entries that we would receive. With this in mind, the quality of entrants we had to the competition were of a very high caliber and choosing the winning entry proved difficult. The microsite traffic target was 4,000 and it was exceeded by almost 20%. We seeded out a total of 28 social media posts across TV3 and Xposé social channels throughout this campaign, ranging from information about the competition, links to Oscar articles on Xposé.ie with Aer Lingus logo branding and links to Oscar segments on Xposé which were sponsored by Aer Lingus. We saw over 51,350 comment interactions on these posts averaging approx. 1,833 comments per post. The most interacted posts were those in which we uploaded the competition VT which outlined the competition and we had numerous people tagging friends/family members on these. This was a great result as this VT got across all of the Aer Lingus key messages and details about the route to LAX, and more importantly, it got people talking and telling their friends and family about it.