Pre­mium Of­fer­ings

The air­line brand mar­kets its ‘pre­mium econ­omy’ of­fer­ing in a set of dig­i­tal films that fea­ture two so­cial me­dia in­flu­encers.

The Brand Reporter - - NEWS - By Deep­ashree Ban­er­jee deep­ashree.ban­er­

When so­cial me­dia in­flu­encers pitch in to help.

The last time we saw epi­cures Rocky Singh and Mayur Sharma in a brand film was a few months back when they took us on a tour inside Nes­tle’s fac­tory. Now, Vis­tara, a pri­vate air­line and joint ven­ture be­tween Tata Sons and Sin­ga­pore Air­lines (SIA), has re­leased a bunch of dig­i­tal films (we spot­ted them on Twit­ter... and then we spot­ted the Twit­ter birds inside each film) in which the duo mar­kets the air­line’s pre­mium econ­omy seats and ex­pe­ri­ence. The films are short, easy to watch and light.

The ob­jec­tive of this dig­i­tal cam­paign is to lure fly­ers to pick Vis­tara’s pre­mium econ­omy seats when book­ing flight tick­ets. Bet­ter el­bow room, tastier cof­fee/food, shorter check-in queues, and ex­tra bag­gage al­lowance, are some of the perks the cam­paign talks about. But what ex­actly is pre­mium econ­omy? In the sim­plest terms, it’s a pre­mium of­fer­ing that, on the price spec­trum, sits cosily be­tween econ­omy and busi­ness. Specif­i­cally, it costs about twice as much as the econ­omy fare and half of the busi­ness fare.

The tar­get au­di­ence com­prises pas­sen­gers who are dis­sat­is­fied with econ­omy but find busi­ness class too ex­pen­sive, es­pe­cially for short flights. This pas­sen­ger is the kind who is will­ing to pay a small pre­mium for a few frills, ad­di­tional com­fort and per­son­alised ser­vice.

Dur­ing the launch of this pre­mium econ­omy pro­gramme, Ra­jeev Bansal (Taj SATS group chief culi­nary de­vel­op­ment chef) was on board a cou­ple of flights (Mum­bai to Delhi and back), to in­ter­act with both busi­ness and pre­mium econ­omy class pas­sen­gers and gauge their re­ac­tion to the then newly-in­tro­duced menu.

The Glitch (dig­i­tal agency re­cently ac­quired by GroupM) has worked on these films. In­ter­est­ingly, CEO of The Glitch, Pooja Jauhari, told us in a 2016 chat about her clien­tele, “We want to fo­cus on get­ting an air­line brand on board.”

About this Twit­ter-led cam­paign, par­tic­u­larly the choice of Rocky and Mayur as dig­i­tal brand am­bas­sadors, Saransh Agar­wal, direc­tor, con­tent strat­egy and busi­ness, The Glitch, tells afaqs! Re­porter, “They are a good fit for the brand and for the cre­atives as well. I think, rather than just the ‘food critic’ an­gle, we needed some­one re­lat­able, yet as­pi­ra­tional... some­one funny enough to bring out

The ob­jec­tive of the dig­i­tal cam­paign is to lure fly­ers to pick Vis­tara’s pre­mium econ­omy seats.

the con­cept, yet one who has some au­thor­ity to be taken se­ri­ously by our au­di­ence. Also, the con­cept of the cam­paign needed a duo with the right kind of ban­ter and chem­istry be­tween them...”

The brand, he says, has a very “en­gaged bunch of fol­low­ers” on Twit­ter, some­thing that helped mat­ters when it came to the me­dia plan­ning stage.

What makes the dis­count-driven, cash­back-crazed, dig­i­tal In­dian — broadly deemed to be a stingy con­sumer/shop­per — pay an ex­tra some­thing for a lit­tle more com­fort on a flight? About ‘the psy­chol­ogy of pre­mium econ­omy’ as it were, Agar­wal adds, “To be fair, In­di­ans are not al­ways stingy. We tend to go out of our way to make sure the money we’re spend­ing brings pro­por­tion­ate value to us. With Vis­tara Pre­mium Econ­omy, we were very cog­nizant of the fact that peo­ple would be happy to spend that ex­tra bit as long as we’re able to high­light the plethora of ben­e­fits they get in re­turn.”


Does the cam­paign stand out amid the din of brand mes­sages on Twit­ter? Or does it add to the noise? afaqs! Re­porter asked three pro­fes­sion­als in the dig­i­tal me­dia space to watch the films and tell what they think.

Dub­bing Rocky and Mayur as “fairly known faces”, Carl­ton D’Silva, chief creative of­fi­cer, Hungama Dig­i­tal Me­dia, doesn’t, how­ever, pin the per­for­mance of the cam­paign onto their pres­ence in it. He ex­plains, “Had any other per­son­al­ity been fea­tured, the cam­paign would still work,” un­less of course the brand team chose to high­light the ‘chef as­pect’ of the duo a bit more. About the me­dia plan, he feels it makes sense to go dig­i­tal when it comes to this cat­e­gory, be­cause “the ROI is far greater this way — the brand’s core TG is on­line and can be tar­geted sharply, with­out any wastage of me­dia monies... The films ap­pear to tar­get young, first-time trav­ellers, skewed to­wards busi­ness travel.”

Nishi Kant, EVP and branch head, Dentsu We­bchut­ney, likes the creative ex­e­cu­tion and over­all treat­ment of the films. The cam­paign, ac­cord­ing to him, hits the bulls­eye on three fronts - choice of in­flu­encers, medium and creative tact, that is, hu­mour. And all through, the prod­uct stays at the cen­tre of things. “Dig­i­tal,” he rea­sons, “is the first medium to­day’s cus­tomers pick to ex­press them­selves, when it comes to brands and ser­vices... so this is an in­tel­li­gent plat­form to ad­dress the world on.”

Rocky and Mayur are a per­sonal favourite of Sid­harth Gowda, strat­egy head, con­tent and brand so­lu­tions, Zirca Dig­i­tal So­lu­tions, who says about the cam­paign, “I like how Vis­tara used them in more than just culi­nary videos. Us­ing them as char­ac­ters, as op­posed to as food crit­ics, gives the ads a fresh di­men­sion.” ■

“With Vis­tara Pre­mium Econ­omy, we were very cog­nizant of the fact that peo­ple would be happy to spend that ex­tra bit as long as we’re able to high­light the plethora of ben­e­fits they get in re­turn.” SARANSH AGAR­WAL

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