afaqs!

SpiceJet veering towards thematic advertising

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | August 10, 2009
The low cost airline makes a conscious effort to move away from price-led advertising and is keen on building its brand image

Low cost airlines generally revolve around a few regular advertising tricks and price points are usually one of their favourites. SpiceJet, though, has different plans. The low cost, no frills airline started off on a new route in December when it appointed Contract Advertising at its creative agency of record. It has launched a communication to effectively improve its brand image and induce top of mind recall.

Since the appointment of Contract, there have been some creatives, mostly schematic. However, last month, the four year old airline flagged off its first brand campaign that has a new thought to it - Get more when you fly.

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Anish Srikrishna, senior vice-president, marketing, SpiceJet, took some time off to speak with afaqs! about the shift in the focus. He agrees that for a long time, the aviation sector has been trapped in price point led advertising and that route won't do well any more.

"Most of the airlines in the low cost category have similar price points and hence that is no longer a strong differentiator," says Srikrishna, admitting that SpiceJet, too, was caught in the price led advertising loop initially.

SpiceJet is now aiming to move away from the rest and create a place for itself. Also, the current economic scenario, where monies are being used religiously, is adding to the market share of an airline like SpiceJet.

Trends reflected in other developed markets such as Europe, including levying a charge on the most regular benefits, has brought down the entire experience of flying to a matter of going from point A to point B.

Srikrishna says that SpiceJet still wants to retain the experience of flying with its service, which is why the campaign focuses on promos.

As expected, magazines, press and outdoor media have been heavily utilised in this campaign. Radio, too, is part of the media mix. All the creatives talk of services such as taking care of unaccompanied minors for no extra charge; taking along one's sports kit for free or carrying out web-check in.

SpiceJet is carefully looking at digital ways of making an imprint on consumers, and wishes to go beyond banner ads. It is also carrying out search engine optimisation activities. TV is also being explored as the airline doesn't want to create a clichéd airline ad.

The campaign, which flagged off last month, will be carried on till the end of the year. Srikrishna speaks of the early start, saying, "We want to give away a subtler message to the consumer and the probable consumer." This is to ensure that the airline is top of mind when decision making time comes (during the holiday peak season).