Marketing & Strategy

CVS Pharmacy: Walking the Talk

Marketing is all about reputation, a notion that CVS Pharmacy embraced when it surprised the world by banning the sale of cigarettes in their stores - a bold move that may hit their revenue by US$2 billion, only in the very first year.
When it comes to building a brand, you have to practice what you preach. Within the scope of a “health-oriented" positioning, selling products that can harm said health clearly goes in the opposite direction. Which is why we can't help but conclude: in order to build a great brand, you must put purpose beyond profit.

Reaching New Heights: How Airline Marketers Seduce Travelers

“So the crew fly on with no thought that they are in motion. Like night over the sea, they are very far from the earth, from towns, from trees. The motors fill the lighted chamber with a quiver that changes its substance. The clock ticks on. The dials, the radio lamps, the various hands and needles go through their invisible alchemy. From second to second these mysterious stirrings, a few muffled words, a concentrated tenseness, contribute to the end result. And when the hour is at hand the pilot may glue his forehead to the window with perfect assurance. Out of oblivion the gold has been smelted.”

- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand, and Stars, 1939.

“On January 1st, 1914, Abram C. Pheil, former mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida, made a decision that would change the world – to become the first ever paying passenger on a commercial flight.

Since that historic moment 100 years ago, commercial aviation has transformed our lives. It has re-united loved ones, connected cultures, expanded minds, opened up markets, saved lives, and allowed people worldwide to dream of a bigger, brighter future and turn it into a reality.

"Today, over 3 billion passengers and 50 million tonnes of cargo reach their destination through the wonder of flight every year, supporting over 57 million jobs and $2.2 trillion in economic activity.” – IATA.

100 years have passed since that first flight, and today it seems an everyday thing. Going abroad for a meeting with a client, visiting a relative, or just enjoying a few days off at some amazing place seems to be something we take for granted without stopping to ponder the engineering marvels that allow our feet to take off the ground.

According to Deloitte, airlines, along with banks, are the providers of services less loved by consumers around the world. Still, for some people, this is a necessary evil in order to sustain the global economy by making agreements and business transactions. In addition to this conception, most people agree that flying is stressful. Anyone who has done so, regardless of the joy of traveling and visiting new places, has experienced eternal and tedious waits at airport halls; some others, the uncertainty of delays, connections and lost luggage, not to mention security issues, all of which have become a sensitive matter in recent months.

So how do airlines deal with this bad reputation and figure out a way to seduce travelers around the world? The answer is in marketing - good marketing - which some brands have taken to new heights, whilst other companies suffer vertigo.

Here are some of the best practices by major airlines today:

Passenger experience as cornerstone

Finding the way to avoid or minimize bad experiences at all costs is what keeps airline marketers awake at night. They have as a number one priority to provide the most comfortable and relaxing journey as possible, by reducing passenger’s stress and allowing them to be productive at the same time. In order to achieve this goal, airlines make major investments in creating home-like spaces and in-flight offices that satisfy all user’s needs.

Staying tuned to the connected traveler

As part of the evolutionary process of communication, today’s traveler is connected 24/7. In the aviation industry, this matter is unavoidable if companies want to maintain continuous contact with their passengers. In order to gain customers’ preference, airlines need to be able to answer questions, inform, entertain, and allow users to communicate and interact with others through their mobile devices.



 Entertain and conquer

Few things can be as tedious as a long, boring trip. From new and creative ways to ensure passenger’s safety (as done by companies like Air New Zealand, United, Virgin America, TAP, SWA and Delta), to concerts aboard, fashion shows, and significant investments in proper and modern IFE (In Flight Entertainment) technologies, the commercial aviation industry has turn its attention to innovative and out of the box practices in order to make long trips more enjoyable to its customers. Certainly, it pays off!

You’ll know them by their idols

Airlines such as Emirates, Turkish, Qatar, British Airways have harnessed the power of linking their brand with the most popular sport legends and teams today. Emirates is particularly one of “FIFA’s major partners, which reportedly pays some $25-50 million per year, along with brands such as Adidas, Coca-Cola, Hyundai Motor Group, Sony and Visa”. – Forbes.

Fly Emirates

Fly Emirate

Design, design, design

Good design means good business and marketers know it. A well distributed and elegant cabin design, as well as a unique branded livery, can make the aircraft itself such a powerful tool to communicate, create brand awareness and seduce passengers. On the other hand, designing a sophisticated airport lounge and making the waiting process much more comfortable has given outstanding results to many airlines that realize the profitable benefit of great design.

Design Livery

Down to Earth

But not all strategies take place in the sky. When it comes to creative terrestrial activations, airlines have demonstrated that they have mastered the art of inviting, surprising, informing, and even being capable of making people believe in miracles.


Social networks are friends

As every marketer knows, social media can be a double-edged sword, and no company, especially large ones, is exempt from making a slip that unleashes a crisis, in which case, diffusion is maximized. Nevertheless, there are always great opportunities to transform a specific or fortuitous event into a smart move for the brand, as demonstrated by Aeromexico’s clever answer to KLM’s tweet and the emotive Lufthansa’s tweet, all during the last FIFA’s World Cup.




Innovate or die

Peter Drucker said: “Business has only two functions: marketing and innovation”.  And that has become airlines’ credo during the last 100 years. From aircraft manufacturers, such as Boeing and Airbus, to in flight services and food suppliers, the entire chain of value has an extreme approach to the generation of high-end products and services based on passenger needs and mega trends, which makes air travel industry a benchmark of luxury,  creativity and customer experience.

No doubt that the aviation industry can be a great source of inspiration for marketers in other industries since it provides an example of continuous innovation and out of the box thinking while creating memorable experiences for those who appreciate the everyday miracle of air travel.

Infographic Airline Marketing


A look back: The Campaigns that rocked Cannes in 2013

Cannes Lions Festival

In less than a month, the world of brands will come together for what is the biggest celebration in the industry of advertising. A place where everyone working in the field of communications - from agencies, to media specialists, to marketers - are inspired by a week of nothing but ideas. Or as Marcelo Serpa, Partner and Chief Creative Officer at AlmapBBDO once said: "Cannes is the worst enemy of indifference. It is here where we gather each year to share the only antidote we have for the indifference of consumers overloaded with information - ads, films and campaigns - creativity." 

Here's a review of the campaigns that rocked the 2013 Cannes Lions:

Channel 4 - "Meet the Superhumans"

Agency: 4 Creative London | Country: UK

Awards and categories: Grand Prix in Film Craft | Gold in Film

Procter & Gamble - "Proud Sponsor of Moms"

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland | Country: USA

Awards and categories: Gold in Media | Gold in Titanium and Integrated Content

Intel - "The Beauty Inside"

Agency: Pereira & O'Dell | Country: USA

Awards and categories: Gold in Integrated Content and Cyber (Best Copywriting) | Grand Prix in Branded Content and Entertainment, Cyber and FIlm (Internet Series)

Nike - "Find your Greatness"

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland | Country: USA

Awards and categories: Titanium in Titanium & Integrated

Google + Hangouts - "Same Sex Marriages"

Agency: Ogilvy | Country: France

Awards and categories: Gold in PR

Dove - "Camera Shy"

Agency: Ogilvy + Mather, London | Country: UK

Awards and categories: Gold in Film

Samsung Life Insurance - "The Bridge of Life"

Agency: Cheil Worldwide | Country: South Korea

Awards and categories: Gold in Promo & Activation (Ambient) | Gold in Promo & Activation (Public Health and Safety) | Titanium in Titanium and Integrated

Leica - "Soul"

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi | Country: Brazil

Awards and categories: Gold in Film Craft (Cinematography)

Coca-Cola - "Share a Coke"

Agency: Leo Burnett Chicago | Country: USA / India / Pakistan

Awards and categories: Gold in Creative Effectiveness | Creative Marketer of the Year

Getty Images - "Life Cuts"

Agency: AlmapBBDO | Country: Brazil

Awards and categories: Gold in Film Craft (Editing)

Dove - "Sketches"

Agency: Ogilvy Brazil | Country: Brazil

Awards and categories: Gold in Branded Content & Entertainment, Integrated Content, Cyber, Film, Media, PR (Social Media), PR (Integrated Campaign), Promo & Activation, Titanium & Integrated | Grand Prix in Titanium & Integrated

Metro - "Dumb Ways to Die"

Agency: McCann Melbourne | Country: Australia

Awards and categories: Gold in Branded Content & Entertainment (Music), Integrated Content, Cyber (Music Sound & Editing, Video, Viral Advertising, Online Video), Direct (Digital Marketing & Social Media, Public Health & Safety), Film Craft (Music), Film (Viral Film), Media, PR (Social Media), Promo & Activation (Social Media, Public Health & Safety) | Grand Prix in Direct, Film, PR, Radio, Titanium & Integrated

This post is part of the Road to Cannes Series.

Brazilian brands get ready to hit the field for this year’s World Cup

Brazil World Cup

The year 2014 represents one thing for the sports world: the FIFA World Cup. Whether you like or not, it's here, and in less than a few weeks it becomes real in Brazil. How does this worldwide phenomenon affect Brazilian products? How are advertisers supposed to behave and compete with international brands in this very crowded marketplace?

The FIFA World Cup moves extraordinary - as well as dubious - sums of money that range from infrastructure to ad campaigns. "Brazil expects to receive 500,000 foreign tourists and move tens of millions of Brazilians for the host cities." (Source: Ministry of Tourism)

Within this scenario, Brazilian brands are offered a unique opportunity of competing on the same arena with other major international brands. As a country, Brazil should export a comprehensive picture of modern, developed and creative nation. An image that relies heavily on a good performance of its national products, since the brand identity created for the 2014 World Cup had proven to be a colossal failure. A poorly structured logo, foolish typography and a mascot that became a joke, all seemed a random combination of elements without any previous planning.

World Cup logo

The branding of the 2014 World Cup consists in a random junction of elements without much planning.

Despite the not-so-great image of Brazilian marketing and branding, national products may still have a chance to change this paradigm. Here are some ideas as to how to make that happen.

1. Brazilian pride

The country's essence and fervor for the World Cup dictates a distinct set of factors within its global marketing: energy, passion and happiness, which are perhaps more important than leadership and quality. National brands should encourage  patriotism by creating motivational campaigns that take advantage of their market and extensive consumer knowledge. A Brazilian-to-Brazilian approach and message within campaigns will generate an inherent marketing advantage.

2. Keeping an eye on FIFA Partners

Something that is definitely worth watching out for are the actions executed by the six major international brands involved in the World Cup - Adidas, Coca-Cola, Hyundai, Kia, Emirates, Sony and Visa - who have paid sums as large as £230 million to FIFA for a four-year partnership. These brands will bring a lot of creativity and branding quality and will be present in all matters of the tournament. These advertisers will have access to more than 50% of the world population. 

 3. Joining in

Brands should improve and promote the consumer experience and become a part of the worldwide event through local and spontaneous activations. Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube ...) are ideal platforms for Brazilians and foreigners to share their own experiences and interact with each other.

Brands could also integrate their efforts onto social and mobile platforms, paving the way for a more immediate and  tight-knit contact with the audience. 

Coca-Cola World Cup FIFA

 4. Adding value

Brands must find a way to incorporate themselves in the middle of the experience between fans and the sport without being invasive. Through this connection, they should strive to add value and continue a longterm relationship with consumers, not only during 2014, but until the next World Cup in 2018.

The tournament is ready and guaranteed to the public and the consumers; now the question that remains is whether it will get a taste of Brazil's victory.

 Brazil World Cup

Follow Giovanna Lettieri at EsttudioG.