Saturday, December 12, 2009

Media's Brand of the Year Goes to AirAsia

11 December 2009
AirAsia Regional Head of Commercial Kathleen Tan (right) accepting the Brand of the Year award presented by Mr. Louis Boswell of AETN All Asia Networks at Media's Agency of the Year (AOY) Awards, held at the St. Regis in Singapore
AirAsia Regional Head of Commercial Kathleen Tan (right) accepting the Brand of the Year award presented by Mr. Louis Boswell of AETN All Asia Networks at Media's Agency of the Year (AOY) Awards, held at the St. Regis in Singapore

Awarded for constant innovations and bold ideas in branding campaigns

AirAsia, the world's best low-cost carrier, continues its award winning streak when the airline was bestowed the prestigious Brand of the Year award at Media's Agency of the Year (AOY) Awards, held at the St. Regis in Singapore.

In its 16th year, the Agency of the Year Awards recognizes inspired brand leadership, management excellence, outstanding business performance and overall achievements in the Asia-Pacific advertising and communications industry.

For the Brand of the Year category, AirAsia was awarded the accolade for its constant innovations and bold ideas in branding campaigns and advertisements to achieve marketing success. Despite the global economic downturn, AirAsia continued to embark on numerous branding campaigns which in turn became not only the industry's benchmark, but lead the way to demonstrate aggressive branding efforts which are essential to keep the brand relevant, alive and fresh especially during challenging times.

The airline’s perseverance is often praised by aviation and economic experts, and its success formula is regularly emulated by others.

AirAsia Regional Head of Commercial, Kathleen Tan said, “As a young airline, we are very elated with this win, as it is a very important recognition to our tireless efforts in bringing the AirAsia brand to the forefront. To all our 7,500 staff who are also our brand ambassadors, this win is a testament of each individual’s hard work and dedication in making AirAsia a reputable brand. Indeed, we strive very hard to make the airline a household name where low-fares are concerned, and we are happy that all of our endeavours bear fruit.

“It has been a challenging year on the economic front, but our diligent efforts have proved otherwise as we continue to garner sales through our low fares campaigns on our number one airasia.com website and hot package deals via our GoHoliday travel portal. This is purely because the public are aware that we are a reputable and trustworthy brand, where they could derive great value and excellent services.”

The airline is totally committed in building its brand and bringing it to greater heights. Utmost commitment is essential to instill confidence and create emotional attachments of the masses with the brand. For instance, the airline’s alliance with popular sports teams such as Williams F1 and Oakland Raiders ignites further interest to the brand and generates a sense of belonging among its fans and sports enthusiasts. Especially in new markets, association with a local household brand will definitely raise the brand’s profile and instill confidence in the market especially among the youth to grow with us; enhancing our guests flying experience further .

Kathleen added, “In order stay ahead of the competition, we need to keep our brand exciting, bright and most importantly credible. We want our guests to feel good about the AirAsia experience and this will definitely keep them coming back for more.”

AirAsia is also a passionate user of technology in its branding and marketing efforts.

Social media is one of AirAsia’s important branding campaign mechanisms, which allows the airline to address the conventional limitations of direct push marketing. With its own Facebook page, it is akin to a forum that invites participation from the public, creating an extension for them to be passionate and connected to the AirAsia brand. The AirAsia Facebook page is currently the number ONE ranking Facebook corporate account in the transportation field, quickly closing in on a six figure fan base.

Twitter is another interesting tool that is utilized for transmission of short marketing blurbs, updating guests with new developments and promotions. Keeping guests in the loop through Twitter’s short messaging is absolutely alluring – due to its current chic status – and free to the masses.

Media's Editor in Chief and AOY jury chair, Atifa Hargrave-Silk said, “AirAsia is to be given the award for its achievement in building its brand and expanding its international profile in a year when the economic downturn crippled demand for air travel.

“AirAsia's first ever brand campaign launched in Asia in October, shifting consumers’ mindset of low-cost carriers by showcasing the airline's innovation, high quality service and unique experience. The airline this year also proved it had a solid grasp of the online space, in particular its ‘one million free seats’ campaign, which set a new international sales record, with almost 900,000 seats being booked 48 hours after the launch.”

In deciding the ultimate recipient of the award, Media Magazine considers the advertiser's vision – direction and focus on goals, boldness – innovative solutions that provides a return on marketing investment, brand custodian, understanding of competitive or industry challenges and a plan to overcome them and of course achievements and successes that the client has faced and overcome to achieve proven business and marketing results.

AirAsia launched a regional campaign in October, to position the world’s best low-cost airline as a high quality, sleek and cool brand.

Aptly themed ‘Have You Flown AirAsia?’, the campaign aimed to shift consumers’ mindset of low-cost carriers by showcasing the airline’s innovation, high quality service and unique experience.

The campaign was spearheaded be the television commercial directed by the late Yasmin Ahmad which rolled out across Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand on 14th October 2009. It was supported by online, outdoor, print and social media presence. A refreshing microsite has also been created to keep the brand relevant and dynamic. Exciting contests and promotions were held, treating winners to premium events and concerts.

The integrated format of this campaign is a great example of how television, print and social media can work together to engage today’s well-travelled consumers.

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