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  • Shabbir Akhtar

When Someone from Downunder flew with 302 Friends

I have been missing travel to such extent that I have been browsing through successful digital engagement campaigns by airlines and the AirAsia ‘Friendsy’ campaign (AirAsiaFriendsy, 2012) was really interesting and inspired me to go deeper.



The AirAsia ‘Friendsy’ campaign was launched to announce its much-anticipated Australian hub in 2012. While AirAsia had been in operations for over 10 years, it was an unknown brand for the Australian consumers. Moreover, the Australian aviation market was hugely competitive. So, AirAsia needed a campaign that would create brand awareness in this new market and showcase the airline’s brand promise, “now everyone can fly” (Publicis Australia, 2014). AirAsia also wanted to use the campaign to reach thousands of potential fliers in Australia, increase the airline’s fan base on Facebook and educate fliers about its newest fleet of Airbus A330s (Noble Studios, n.d.).


The contest allowed the winner to book an entire plane for herself and 302 of her friends to fly return from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur for 3 nights in an Accor Hotels property (airasia travels, 2012). The campaign was primarily launched on Facebook to create an experience with maximum reach. Firstly, two agencies working on this project with AirAsia – Publicis Mojo and Noble Studios – created a Facebook app with a 360-degree animated model of the Airbus A330 featuring nine different visual nodes that the audience could interact with to know more about the aircraft and services offered (Noble Studios, n.d.).


As for the contest itself, the agencies created a virtual layout of the seat plan within the Facebook app that would allow contest entrants to book 302 of their closest friends into the different seats in the aircraft (Publicis Australia, 2014). As the entrants would drag and drop their friends into the different premium and economy seats a countdown of remaining seats would be displayed. Once the entrant had booked their entire plane, they could let their friends know about the contest and share the snapshot of their seating plan on Facebook (Publicis Australia, 2014).



The campaign was launched with above video, which was followed by Facebook ads, online banners, radio slots and full-page newspaper ads (Publicis Australia, 2014). This led to an online frenzy with users starting to talk about the AirAsia ‘Friendsy’ campaign on every social media and eventually local, national, and international media started reporting about it (Publicis Australia, 2014).


The campaign was hugely successful with 12,500 active participants, 22,520 likes on Facebook (30% growth of the Facebook page), 964,461 people tagged on the planes, 2,291,483 people reached on Facebook (accounting for 20% Facebook users in Australia) (Noble Studios, n.d.). The campaign also won two awards - Facebook Studios Contest Campaign and Brisbane Advertising & Design Campaign (Noble Studios, n.d.).


In June 2012 AirAsia announced that “Someone has won a plane!” (airasia travels, 2012) and on November 2, 2012, 267 friends of Julian Foster took the flight from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur (Publicis Australia, 2014).


References:

AirAsia Friendsy. (2012, April 6). AirAsia Friendsy [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDvMgQoRAtg&t

airasia travels. (2012, April 10). We're giving away a plane! Ok here it is guys check out the details of AirAsia Friendsy! [Image]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/airasiatravels.au/photos/a.144782402222850/386045271429894/

airasia travels. (2012, June 18). Someone has won a plane! We do have a lucky winner of our Friendsy competition. [Image]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/airasiatravels.au/photos/a.144782402222850/433896409978113/

Noble Studios. (n.d.). Friends Who Share Together Travel Together. Retrieved June 13, 2021, from https://noblestudios.com/work/air-asia/

Publicis Australia. (2014, April 17). Air Asia: Air Friendsy [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvu7g9Z7Gm8

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