Spanair – Unexpected Luggage

Spanair flight JK5208 from Barcelona arrived at Las Palmas on the evening of Dec. 24, at a time when most European families are traditionally enjoying their main Christmas celebration. As the 190 passengers waited impatiently for their suitcases, they saw the luggage belt lurch into action — but instead of seeing their own bags, they saw an array of bright, gift-wrapped presents of all shapes and sizes parading past them.

Covered in gold, silver, red, purple and green candy-stripes and decorated with flamboyant ribbons, the unexpected packages chugged past the astonished passengers. People gradually began to notice their own names on the parcels’ gift tags, but nervously watched them go past a couple of times before daring to pick them up. After awhile, they began to pick the presents up and shake them suspiciously for clues as to their contents. Eventually they tore open the wrapping to reveal gifts for every kind of passenger. For the kids there were teddy bears, giant candy bars, toy horses, cars, trumpets, puppets and costumes; and for the adults, beauty products, Lomography cameras and hats.

The passengers directed a spontaneous round of applause at the luggage belt, and each had a heart-warming tale about Spanair — which markets itself as “La de Todos” or “Everyone’s Airline” — to tell their loved ones at Christmas.
The whole stunt was planned by Spanish ad agency Shackleton, based in Barcelona. The agency’s VP, Enric Nel-lo, said in a statement, “We understand the emotional stress of traveling on such a special evening, particularly on one of the last flights, when everyone else is reunited with their families celebrating Christmas Eve. These passengers deserve a gift like the rest, with all the excitement and the surprise factor, too. It was a very special gesture for all those who have no other choice but to fly on the night of December 24th.”
Nuria Tarr, commercial director of Spanair, said in the statement, “This action strengthens the company’s image in the areas of innovation and closeness to our passengers. We’ve created a very warm and human brand experience and it’s a true reflection of the positioning we have been building since last year.”
In less than 48 hours, a YouTube video of the event received more than 100,000 views, and more than 7,000 users shared it on Facebook and Twitter.

Case History

Describe the brief
Spanair wanted to launch a Christmas greeting to all its customers.
On Christmas 2010, Spanair used segmentation, personalization and creativity to CREATE AN IMPACT at the right moment. The airline then used social media to turn contents into direct marketing tools in order to generate links on the Internet and pass on Spanair’s positioning based on proximity, client orientation and attention to service details.
The passengers of the flight that landed at midnight on that Christmas Eve, couldn’t imagine the experience they were about to live. And probably they wouldn’t be able to forget it either…

Describe the creative solution
On the luggage conveyor belt and before their luggage came out, passengers found some unexpected luggage arriving: a personalized gift with the names of each one of them. The baggage claim area became a spontaneous party. The surprise and the passenger’s reactions were recorded and became a video which was launched in Spanair’s Youtube. Spanair sent this to all other clients as their Christmas greeting.
In 48 hours, the video was viewed 100,000 times and, in two weeks, 700,000 times. It was shared more than 8,000 times, blogs and Spanish TV channels Cuatro and Telecinco, BBC, ABC echoed the news.
The DM strategy for this project is based on 3 components:
1.- SEGMENTATION: Although the action took place in such an unexpected place -the baggage claim area- it was not only about giving a present, it was about the gesture and detail. With that in mind, 12 client types were defined based on sex, age and occupation, family role, etc.
2.- PERSONALIZATION: For each client type (ex: man/young/father) we chose a best-fit present with the passengers’ name on it.
3-. COMMUNICATE WITH A FACT. We used an individual gesture to demonstrate Spanair “cares about the little things that clients care about” and waited for it to be passed around.

Describe the results
• Spontaneous applause from all passengers that received the surprise.
• In 48h hours, the video had more than 100,000 viewings, 700,000 in two weeks.
• More than 30,000 individual comments and replies were posted on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter etc. A token of the new relation the brand established with clients.
• Spanair’s Facebook wall received thousands of comments demonstrating it had impacted more than just the passengers but all those who were moved by the campaign..
These reactions mean a first stage on the relationship and dialogue with the brand.

Advertising Agency: Shackleton, Madrid
Executive Creative Director: Enric Nel-lo
Creative Director: Pipo Virgos, Paco Badia
Art Director: Clara Mercader
Copywriter: Santi Garcia
Graphic & Event Producer: Marta Lopez


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