As part of a fleet expansion plan, Hong Kong Airlines was establishing new international routes, including to and from Vancouver and Los Angeles. We needed a campaign approach that would both directly challenge incumbent Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific and capture a new North-American audience. The challenge? Most North Americans had never heard of the airline.
Our brand strategy presented the young airline as synonymous with the city of Hong Kong itself. We wanted Hong Kong Airlines to claim ownership of the Hong Kong identity and to be the first airline to come to mind when consumers booked travel to the region. Rallying behind the theme “Where Hong Kong Begins,” we developed PR, print, TVC, digital and experience activations for the new launch cities of Vancouver and Los Angeles.
To create a high-visibility print advertising and experiential campaign, we leveraged our access to brand ambassador and international film star Jackie Chan. He flew with us on the inaugural flight from Hong Kong to Vancouver, and we used this opportunity to create photography, video, stories and interviews for PR and digital. Our video content series supporting the TVC starring Jackie launched the campaign in mainland China.
For the inaugural event in Vancouver, we set the scene with artwork from the renowned Hong Kong illustrator Victo Ngai. Food from the award-winning chef who designed the Hong Kong Airlines on-flight menu, performances of Wing Chun Kung Fu, and a signature cocktail gave the Vancouver public a flavor of Hong Kong culture.
The Vancouver campaign was a success. Hong Kong Airlines is now running at a 90% load factor out of Vancouver in its first few months of travel. It is outstripping the outgoing Hong Kong route by double. Sales of the Los Angeles route are very strong months before a first flight has even taken off.
Our digital campaign has generated 56 million impressions worth an estimated $1million in media spending.
No matter the mission, we strive for substantial results that reach beyond an initial splash. We design with a mind for long term viability, building products and platforms that evolve in step with changing consumer needs and behaviors to achieve lasting impact.