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