Nandana Das

Flying high the digital way: SpiceJet

SpiceJet Q400 launch campaign, used Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to target air travellers and air enthusiasts.

In a bid to create a buzz around the launch of the Q400 aircraft, SpiceJet airline leveraged the social media platforms for its online activities. The SpiceJet Q400 launch campaign, targeted at air travellers and air enthusiasts made use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the SpiceJet website.

The campaign, which was launched in two phases, had pre-launch, as well as some post-launch initiatives.

Flying high the digital way: SpiceJet
Flying high the digital way: SpiceJet
Flying high the digital way: SpiceJet
The low-cost airline, which has a tradition of naming aircrafts after spices, initiated this campaign by inviting its community members to suggest some names of spices for the soon-to-be launched aircraft. The new SpiceJet Q400, which was to be launched primarily to offer regional connectivity, decided to name the aircraft after names of Indian spices. The winner of this contest was invited to inaugurate the first flight which took off from Hyderabad last month.

The next stage in the campaign was to give information, through quizzes and trivia format, about the salient features of the aircraft like quiet engines, and comfortable seats.

This was followed by another initiative designed to let interested flyers know the sectors in which the aircraft will operate. For this, an application was created on Facebook called 'Guess the Destination'. Participants were provided with a key upon answering questions that were asked each day. Each participant received six numeric digits as a key at the end of the contest. After receiving the digits, they had to guess the destination by putting the launch city's pin-code in the right order.

Winners of this contest were gifted SpiceJet goodies bag and return tickets.

In addition to these contests, search marketing optimisation (SMO) channels were used to provide updates regarding the flying and landing of SpiceJet's Q400 aircrafts. Intended for the Twitter audience, the airlines managed to gear massive interest through this activity.

Pictures of the delivery ceremonies, and the landing of the aircrafts in India were released. Also, for the delivery of the aircraft, eminent aviation bloggers were flown to Canada for the ceremony.

Flying high the digital way: SpiceJet
Flying high the digital way: SpiceJet
Talking to afaqs!, Samyukth Sridharan, chief commercial officer, SpiceJet, says, "SpiceJet managed to generate an early buzz for Q400 aircrafts even before the actual delivery of the aircraft was made. With this, we got the opportunity to introduce this new aircraft type in the country and get a feedback. Information was shared, liked, posted, tweeted and re-tweeted, to create and sustain awareness. Interestingly, one of the passengers who travelled with us on our first Q400 flight from Hyderabad-Tirupati route, Tweeted about the overall experience of travelling in a Q400."

Once the delivery was taken, SpiceJet promoted the sectors (mainly Tier 2, and Tier 3) with special fares. These promos led to a huge increase in traffic to the brand website, which resulted in bookings.

Post-launch, a contest to make a 'Sequence the making of Q400' was conducted. Users were given jumbled images of the making of Q400 and were asked to sequence it. "The contest was live for one week, and the airline received an overwhelming response of 400 entries in the first three days. This contest was followed by the unveiling of the actual video of 'The Making of Q400' on all our social platforms. The video went viral with fans and non-fans alike," adds Sridharan.

About the brief, Narayan Rajan, chief executive officer and founder, i-Vista Digital Solutions, says, "The brief was to create a buzz around the launch of the new aircraft which is far superior and smarter, through a social media campaign with minimal budget. But, we were asked not to follow the regular turbo prop (ATRs) marketing route. In addition to this, SpiceJet's Q400 aircraft's superior technology and comfort level as compared to other ATRs had to be established."

The thought behind the activity which aimed to highlight three attributes of the aircraft, namely comfort, quietness and quickness, was to develop better consumer interaction and consumer engagement for greater information dissemination.

As claimed by SpiceJet, the 'naming the aircraft' contest received 98,241 impressions in the first seven days, 'guessing the destination' contest about 1,22,647 impressions in the first five days, and approximately 20,000 impressions received per question asked in the quiz. Apart from this, blog reviews were created, which had five reviews, YouTube posted three videos, and SpiceJet's Twitter handle attracted 1,82,881 followers.

The campaign has received a positive response from flyers. Rajan adds, "Eighty eight per cent occupancy was achieved in the first two weeks of its launch. Many took the inaugural flights for the sole reason to experience SpiceJet Q400 aircraft. Some flyers even posted updates in SpiceJet's official Twitter account, elaborating on their experience with minute details."

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