RETHINK QUALITY by Miltton for Finnair

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RETHINK QUALITY

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Industry Airlines
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Finland
Agency Miltton
Copywriter Patricia Ongpin
Released August 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best International PR Campaign
Advertiser: FINNAIR
Product/Service: BRAND AWARENESS
Vice President, Global Brand & Marketing Communications: Jarkko Konttinen (Finnair)
Marketing Innovations Director: Antti Nieminen (Finnair)
Account Director: Päivi Holmqvist (Miltton)
Account Manager: Anna Lundqvist (Miltton)
Copywriter: Patricia Ongpin (Miltton)
Junior Account Manager: Jukka-Pekka Myllys (Miltton)
: (SEK & GREY (Marketing Campaigns And Visuals))
: (Dagmar (Media Agency))
Media placement: Press Releases (In Total Four) - For Global Distribution - 1 September 2010
Media placement: First Guest Writer Blog Posts Are Published - Campaign Website - 1 September 2010
Media placement: Social Media - Facebook, Twitter - 1 September 2010
Media placement: Ad Campaign Starts - Online On Various Websites On Key Markets - 1 September 2010
Media placement: Press Event In Helsinki - Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Finland - 4 October 2010
Media placement: The Quality Hunters Started Blogging - Campaign Website - 4 October 2010

Summary of the Campaign
The challenge:
The year 2009 had been one of the most difficult on record for the aviation industry. Financial difficulties, mergers, acquisitions and natural phenomena had challenged the entire industry. To strengthen Finnair’s position on its strategic routes, the airline needed to raise brand awareness and position itself as the choice of the quality-conscious traveller.

The solution:
Finnair recruited four Quality Hunters to travel the world, sharing their findings on quality through their blogs on the Rethink Quality web site. High profile guest bloggers contributed their views, and thousands of followers commented on the blogs, participated in the polls and spread the conversation to Facebook and Twitter. The campaign’s look and feel was bolstered by an online advertising campaign employing both traditional and RSS-driven banners to which content was channelled directly from the Rethink Quality site. Enormous media attention was generated globally.

The results
Over 5,200 applications were received for the position of Quality Hunter. Over 570,000 people visited the web site from 189 countries. 630 press hits in Finnair’s strategic markets were generated. A wealth of information was created to inform future developments in Finnair’s service offering.

The Situation
The year 2009 had been one of the most difficult on record for airlines. Financial difficulties, mergers, acquisitions and volcanic ash cloud had challenged the entire industry. Familiar operating practices had been put to the test, and would bear yet more strain as time went on.
Throughout its long history, Finnair had always been considered an airline that embodied high quality. However, the competition in Europe-Asia travel had become increasingly vigorous and, in its newfound position as a challenger brand, Finnair had to strengthen its position as the airline for the quality-conscious traveller.

The Goal
Finnair aimed to raise awareness of their brand by providing a hub for interesting, high quality content, and to create buzz around their short, fast intercontinental routes between Asia, Europe and the U.S.

The quantitative goals were thus defined as attracting 500,000 unique visitors to the web site, receiving a thousand applications for the Quality Hunter posts, and securing 600 international media hits.

The target audience campaign can be broadly defined as anyone who might purchase an air ticket. It was also crucial to reach digital media, bloggers, and opinion leaders globally, so creating media lists was a priority.

The Strategy
In keeping with its vision of being the airline of choice for the quality-conscious traveller, Finnair used Rethink Quality as a forum for discussing the crucial topic of quality with its customers.

Finnair decided to harness the public’s energy and ideas through open, transparent discussions. By stimulating conversation on the Rethink Quality site, the company would glean valuable insights from its stakeholders, gaining greater awareness of the issues that matter to them. This vital intelligence would then help the airline to steer its operations and develop its services.
A PR-led strategy was created for the Internet-centred campaign, exploiting a PR network functioning across 20 countries. This enabled publication of press releases throughout the network’s territories in different phases of the campaign. The local PR agencies also coordinated events and media activities in their own marketing areas, for example when Quality Hunters arrived in their respective countries.

Execution
September
• The Rethink Quality site is launched.
• The search for four Quality Hunters is launched through media activation in 20 countries.
• High profile guest bloggers such as author Alain de Botton, designer Eero Aarnio and chef Eric Ripert share their insights on quality.
• Over 5,200 applicants from over 90 countries apply for the position of Quality Hunter, from which four are selected.

October/November
• The Quality Hunters started travelling on the 4th October, blogging frequently about their experiences in 50 cities across 23 countries.
• On the Rethink Quality site, thousands of followers comment on the blogs, participate in the polls and the discussion continues to Facebook and Twitter.

December
• The Quality Hunters complete their itineraries.
• Because of a Finnish Cabin Crew Union strike, the campaign’s original plan was modified slightly:
the Quality Hunters returned to Finland two days earlier than planned.

Documented Results
More than 5,200 applicants from around the world applied to become a Finnair Quality Hunter (thus, the goal of receiving 1,000 applications was surpassed by far). In total, the Rethink Quality website was visited by 571,803 readers from 189 countries (also surpassing the aim of 500,000). Hundreds shared their opinions on quality in travel on the site and in related discussions in social media.

Media coverage on the Rethink Quality campaign totalled at least 630 media hits from over 20 countries (here too the objective, 600, was achieved), not including those in countries outside the PR network. Together, these amounted to an approximate print, online and broadcast media circulation with an equivalent advertising value (EAV) of at least EUR 591,940.

All the information gathered during the campaign period has been recorded and will be used to inform developments in Finnair’s service offering.