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A CHALLENGER BRAND
TAKES FLIGHT

How we leveraged high-impact partnerships to create
unforgettable experiences that lift brand awareness.

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SUMMARY

As a travel destination, Iceland possesses several key differentiators that distinguish it from other European countries. It’s geographically closer to the United States, offering shorter flight times than most of its counterparts – which also makes it an ideal stopover point for flights heading to and from the continent. It’s also smaller in size and comparatively unspoiled by development. Yet, despite a gradual rise in popularity, Iceland still lagged behind other iconic European destinations in tourist traffic. As a unique airline, whose brand is built around an equally unique destination, Icelandair was cast as an upstart that would need to make waves if it were to stand out in a highly competitive market.

Here’s how we helped Icelandair create unique, highly targeted media and partnership experiences that drive awareness and purchase intent.

our roles

  • Research
  • Brand Strategy
  • Integrated Media
  • Experiential
  • UBER App Integration
  • Partnership Negotiation
  • Out-of-Home
  • Analytics

challenge

With relatively low awareness in the U.S., a brand identity tied to a largely unfamiliar destination and a market presence limited to just seven North American cities, Icelandair found itself competing against carriers with a more global reach. The brand needed to boost consideration across a wider range of travelers to win new customers, while simultaneously driving better connections with its valuable base of existing flyers. Doing so meant building awareness not just for the airline brand itself, but also for the whole of Iceland as a travel destination.

Insights

We conducted market-specific research among travelers aged 25 and older, developing three core user personas with associated purchase journeys. Our study revealed the core stimulus that sparks most travel decisions is a consumer’s ability to visually explore and imagine oneself in the destination. Segmenting a target market of highly visual thinkers played directly into one of our brand’s core strengths - Iceland's beautiful and dramatic natural phenomena landscapes. Using impactful visual media to showcase the scale and essence of these spectacular, comparatively unseen vistas would entice our target audience in precisely the way to which they’re most receptive.

solution

BRINGING ICELAND TO NEW EYES

BLITZ developed a fully integrated digital and offline media strategy focused on reaching our most valuable audience at key touchpoints, via media placements and partnerships that directly complement the uniqueness of both Iceland and Icelandair. Our plan spanned across digital, mobile, OOH, and a first-of-its-kind partnership with Uber, customized – market by market – to each area’s individual awareness level and audience nuances.

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Experiential Media: A First-of-its-Kind Uber Activation

To highlight a unique benefit of flying Icelandair – free stopovers in Iceland on airfare traveling to Europe – we developed the very first brand-accepted partnership with Uber.

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In Boston, we surprised unsuspecting Uber riders with complimentary rides decked out with Iceland-inspired extras, such as a real Icelandair flight attendant, traditional music, glacier water, Blue Lagoon lotions, and even free tickets to Iceland.

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Ticket-winning riders were given a free “stop-over” trip to a friend or family member’s home en route to their desired destination, enabling the rider to invite their chosen companion along on their newly won vacation. We reached over 28% of Boston Uber riders in one day, connecting with our target audience in an uninterruptible environment. The integration further benefited from complimentary Uber-branded promotion as well.

Social Media: #MyStopOver Stories

As Uber riders took to social channels to share their exciting anecdotes in the Icelandair-themed Ubers, we introduced the hashtag #MyStopover to promote and sustain conversation, resulting in over 56,000 social impressions within just a few hours.

Social posts
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Out-of-Home: Using OOH to inspire “Ooh!”

We launched the campaign with high-impact OOH executions in target cities to maximize awareness. Our train and transit wraps and projection media targeted areas where our audience was most present, boldly presenting the epic appeal of Icelandair and its destinations to jaw-dropping effect.

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Premium Digital & Mobile: Creating A Multi-Touch Impact

Finally, we also partnered with travel sections of key news sites in Icelandair’s markets – along with TripAdvisor, Soujourn, Adara, Afar, and Atlas Obscura – to ensure a multi-touch impact through premium digital and mobile executions.

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results

Awareness and consideration surged upward across all metrics, including a nearly 20% leap in purchase intent. Our campaign was also critically acclaimed for both its OOH and activation components, with nominations for an MITX Award, 2 Media Maven Awards and 3 Hatch Awards.

Stats

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like these to work for you.

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