Product launches these days are no more restricted to the offline world with a bunch of celebrities. Indian brands are not scared now to embark upon the social path. A few months ago, if social media was the official launch pad for brand new Maruti Swift and Mahindra Xylo then recently we saw the same in a slightly different industry i.e. Indian aircraft industry. SpiceJet for the first time in India planned to launch SpiceJet’s regional sectors along with introducing SpiceJet’s Q400 aircraft. SpiceJet’s Q400 aircraft is superior both in technology and comfort when compared to the ATRs. However, SpcieJet had to work on demystifying beliefs around the regular turbo prop (ATRs), which the travelers in India are exposed to. So going with the times and researching on their target group, SpiceJet chose to go the social way.
The SpiceJet Q400 campaign focused on three primary things:
1) Technology superiority.
2) First Airline in India to induct and Launch Q400 aircraft.
3) Launch SpiceJet’s Regional sectors.
Social media was chosen to create awareness about the routes among fans, finally leading to drive bookings. Every new launch of a sector was announced only on Facebook and Twitter. Users were given a link through which they could book tickets from the website.
But when one drives such a huge campaign, it is bound to have challenges. Narayan Rajan, CEO and Founder, i-Vista Digital Solutions which implemented the campaign for SpiceJet was ready to speak to us and he shared that:
“If there was a single challenge then it was to do this with no money. However, SpiceJet as a brand had spent a lot of time, effort and money to build a strong community of followers so it wasn’t as tough as we imagined it would be.”
Along with money, educating the fans about the new technology was a challenge too considering the beliefs that fans had. However, this challenge was quite positively handled by fans who went on to educate other fans without the brand’s intervention. This amazing example of C2C in Indian airline industry was shared at #SocialIndia conference too by Shashank Nigam, CEO of SimpliFlying.
The SpiceJet Q400 campaign had two phases: Pre Launch and Post Launch.
The first activity was to invite the community members to suggest names of spices for the new aircraft to be inducted as SpiceJet has a tradition of naming aircrafts after spices. It was also decided to name these aircrafts with Indian names of spices as SpiceJet’s Q400s were inducted primarily to offer regional connectivity. The winner was invited to inaugurate the first flight at Hyderabad.
The next stage was to introduce the salient features of the aircraft which was done through a quiz format. Following this was an introduction of sectors and an app was created on Facebook to ‘Guess the Destination.’ Fans were provided with a key upon answering questions that were asked each day. Each received 6 numeric digits at the end of the contest. Once they received the digits, they had to guess the destination by putting the launch city’s Pin Code in its correct order. Winners were provided SpiceJet goodies bag and return tickets as prizes.
In addition to contests, the SMO channels were used to present updates regarding the delivery and landing of the SpiceJet’s Q400 aircrafts. This was largely targeted for Twitter audience and did receive a massive exposure. Pictures of the delivery ceremonies, and the landing of aircraft in India were released on almost real time basis. Also, for the delivery of the aircraft, an eminent aviation blogger was flown to Canada for the ceremony.
Once the delivery was taken, SpiceJet started promoting the sectors (12 from Hyderabad) along with special fares. These promos led to a huge increase in traffic to the brand website thus resulting in bookings.
The post launch had a contest “Sequence the making of Q400”. Users were given jumbled images of the making of Q400 and were asked to sequence it. The contest had an overwhelming response of 400 entries in the first three days which was live for a week. Later on the actual video of “The Making of Q400” was shared on all social platforms. The video went viral with fans and non-fans alike.
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Narayan shared some numbers about the pre and post launch campaign.
“The first contest ’naming the aircraft’ gained 98,241 impressions in first 7 days, the second contest ‘guessing the destination’ gained 122,647 impressions in next 5 days and 20,000 impressions per question were generated for the questions asked in 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. You tube & tweets campaign got picked up by Huffington Post who wrote and posted the video of the making of the Q400.”
Narayan also added that “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.”
The campaign definitely had an amazing response and was in line with its objective. The campaign created a buzz but one would have wished to get the data of passengers bringing business to SpiceJet by this campaign. However, the challenge now is to carry forward the initiative it has started and continuously engage with fans.
Narayan is aware of the challenge and adds that:
“Some of these plans have already kicked off while others are still work in progress, having said that, SpiceJet is an extremely tech and social media savvy client so they are constantly pushing the boundaries around how the media is used. The reason for pushing them is not so much to be part of a bandwagon but more to increase our own efficiencies and pass the savings back to SpiceJet flyers.”
Wish that SpiceJet continues to engage with fans on social media networks and raises the bar for its competitors like Jet Airways, Fly Kingfisher, etc. Shashank was kind enough to share slide presentation of the same which is embedded below :
Launching a product on social media is no more path breaking but the way in which it is done and carried further is going to set the benchmark in the industry. So do you think SpiceJet was able to set the benchmark for its competitors?