Entire Ellen audience win holiday to Dubai
By Mahak Mannan A studio audience on American talk show host Ellen DeGeneres’ hit programme was left ecstatic after they were all handed free flights to Dubai.
On Monday night’s Ellen Show, Emirates Airline launched The Big Take-off campaign, which the carrier said seeks to encourage United States residents to explore the world.
Some 40 per cent of Americans do not use their full holiday allocation, it said, and the airline is seeking to tap into that trend.
The giveaway started when Meredith Kocan went on stage to compete for a free holiday with another contestant.
And after choosing a series of correct answers to questions, she was told she had won a luxury trip to Cape Town, with a two-day stopover at the One&Only resort in Dubai, along with $2,000 (Dhs7,300).
However, Ellen then revealed that everyone in the audience - about 150 people - were also going to be given free flights to the emirate.
“It is a bucket list thing to do, just to go on an Ellen,” Kocan told her local news website the Montgomery Advertiser.
“When I gave the right answers and won, I was so excited I literally almost dropped to my knees,” she added.
Emirates Airline pilot Ashley Klinger also appeared on the show to deliver the free tickets, which were only handed out after Kocan picked the right choice from five options.
Ellen told the show she is a big fan of Dubai and was photographed during various stays last year.
The video of the giveaway posted on social media received 488,000 views on Facebook and 159,177 views on YouTube within 12 hours, along with the estimated 4 million TV viewers.
The giveaway means significant publicity for Emirates, which has faced opposition in the American market from the main US carriers.
Rob Gurney, Emirates’ Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations for the Americas, said: “The Big Take-off is a strategic campaign for Emirates this summer travel season, which is based on an insight that Americans do not take advantage of all of their vacation days.
“It’s been demonstrated that after a vacation, you’re better at your job, happier, well-rested and more culturally-inspired.”
In September, the talk show will feature a followup show about the audience’s Big Take-off journey.
WINNER: Audience members celebrate with free Emirates tickets to Dubai