Emirates and Porsche create synergy

Emirates Airlines and Porsche show how the Internet can be used to effectively promote brands and build up valuable customer data.

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By  David Ingham Published  May 20, 2001

Exciting, dynamic and innovative were the conditions given to Impact Traffic when Emirates Airlines approached the marketing agency to design an online campaign to build up a customer database. The result: a competition to win a dream holiday to the Alps, staying in beautiful chateaux and cruising around in a Porsche 911.

The aim of the initiative, aside from corporate brand building, was to help build up a database of high value customers. Database marketing is expanding in the Middle East as companies strive to build up a two-way dialogue with customers by enticing them into offering personal information.

In entering this online competition, visitors to Emirates.com answer just a few questions about themselves, and offer some details about the car they drive. What could be more appealing to the high value customers that both companies want to attract than winning a luxury holiday?

Besides the coming together of two prestigious brands, the campaign also stands out because it uses a number of communications channels to drive traffic to the competition microsite. “For us, it’s a great example of an integrated campaign, using PR, print and interactive,” says Steve Wheeler, advertising manager at Emirates.

The campaign will involve print advertising in major publications, public relations and online marketing – both on Emirates own site and with third party sites. Despite negativity about the Internet in some quarters, Wheeler and the Emirates Group remain committed to interactive as a marketing medium. “If you have a good message and good creatives, you will achieve good results online,” he says.

When Impact Traffic was approached by Emirates to handle the campaign, it decided that it wanted to create something a ‘little bit different.’ “Emirates asked us to come up with an appealing campaign to attract people to Emirates.com,” explains Simon Acton-Bond, account director, Impact Traffic. “So we thought of working with Porsche, another exciting brand image, and linking together two strong brands that already have good synergy.”

Emirates was always going to give away the flights, but with Porsche also providing the usage of a luxury car, suddenly the competition becomes a lot more enticing to the public. It also helps that there’s a second prize of a week driving a Porsche 911 around the Cote D’Azure, staying in 5-star hotels; and a third prize that offers the winners a weekend away in the Black Forest.

This type of marketing partnership is fairly new to the region, but Bond believes it’s set to take off in the future. “As long as it’s a good strategic partnership and both parties are talking to the same audience, a promotional campaign will always be more effective,” he says. “But it wouldn’t work if a mass market brand like Pepsi tried to tie-up with a niche market brand like Porsche.”

The competition, open to GCC residents, runs until the end of June. The holidays can then be taken during the hot summer season, which is ideal for Gulf residents wanting to get away for a cooler break. And at the same time, it raises awareness for both Emirates and Porsche that helps maintain their ‘sexy’ images.

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