Differentiating an airline brand is getting tougher these days. As airlines are forced to eliminate amenities and charge for baggage, meals, blankets, and other perks that used to be complimentary, air travel begins to look pretty much the same regardless of the carrier. Not so, says Korean Air.
The Seoul-based airline prides itself on service that it believes differentiates Korean Air from other airlines. For example, Korean Air offers brand new Prestige Sleeper Seats in something it calls "Prestige Class" (similar to Business Class), and Kosmo Suites in First Class. It has produced a slick online presentation demonstrating the features of each. The Kosmo Suite is a cocoon-like compartment that, remarkably, has a seat that becomes a bed and is surrounded almost completely by a privacy barrier.
Korean Air's new ad campaign — the airline's first global campaign in more than a decade; see the regional spots after the jump — speaks to service differentiation, but in a unique way. Television ads show giant-sized chic travelers moving through various cities to which the airline flies and sitting on the wings of its jets. The fanciful ads are lush in their special effects, despite the fact that the super-sized people can be disconcerting at times.
The theme of the campaign, "For life on a whole new scale," has two meanings, according to Emily Cho, general manager of integrated marketing communications for Korean Air: "that our customers — successful businesspeople — are a different kind of traveler, and we are a different kind of airline."
Cho tells Marketing Daily that Korea Air's message for the business traveler is "flying can be fun, relaxing — not a hassle, not a commodity. Our message is that travel can be something you can enjoy. That's what Korean Air represents. Especially for long flights, things like lie-flat seats, good food and service are important."
The ad campaign is running globally, but Korean Air is paying special attention to the US market, since it is the largest Asian carrier servicing the Americas. Korean Air flies out of twelve U.S. gateways, operating three daily flights from Los Angeles.
Korean Air is supporting the campaign with social media including Facebook and its regional Twitter feeds, as well as with its website and other online activities. The airline is a member of the SkyTeam Alliance, which means other airlines' miles, including Delta, are transferable to Korean Air.
Clearly, this is one carrier that intends to be a giant in the airline industry.
(Here's the Americas/Europe regional version of its campaign)
The Asian version: