Lufthansa, with its latest campaign and a brand new logo, is trying to lure new age travellers to #SayYesToTheWorld. Wolfgang Will, Senior Director, South Asia, Lufthansa German Airlines and Sangeeta Sharma, Senior Manager — Marketing & Product, Lufthansa India tell us how
BY NEETA NAIR
Q] Tell us a little about the history of the crane logo which completed a century of its existence in 2018 and underwent a refresh?
Will: The crane logo has practically been the same as what it was a 100 years ago. Only now it has a more modern touch; the circle around it is now thinner and is not that heavy. That makes it a little more elegant, and also more usable when it comes to Digital media. The last time we had an overhaul of the crane logo was in 1986. In the old days, every airline wanted to have a crane as a symbol as it stood for stability and strength. Actually the logo is much older than Lufthansa itself.
Sharma: In the same year that the crane was turning 100 years old, we also received the coveted 5-star Skytrax airline rating, and we were talking about personifying the already existing premium image. The crane has been one of our biggest strengths in terms of recognition. And prelaunch we discussed that there is no way that we are going to touch the crane at all. So it’s really just an evolution of the brand.
Q] What was the insight behind Lufthansa’s recent TVC and Digital film? And is it an India-specific TVC or one that is running globally?
Will: Yes, we have several versions of it. In markets like Europe and USA, we have the same TVC, but show more landmarks from those areas as opposed to Gateway of India here. In our Indian version, 70% of the TVC was shot in Mumbai and other parts of the country. Through it we want to tell customers that they must explore the world outside of India too.
Q] What is the marketing mix for the campaign and which medium is the focus of your ad spends?
Sharma: We are focusing on everything. There is a Television commercial, Print campaign, OOH, BTL, as well as a savvy and extensive digital campaign with social media. And I have to say all of them are doing really well.
Q] What percentage of it is spent on Digital?
Sharma: I would say about 30%. And we are running a Social Media campaign right now. In fact the US and India are the only two markets in our global network where we have a countryspecific Social Media presence. In India, we have our own Lufthansa India page where we control our content and run our own campaigns and promotions without any interference from outside.
Q] That clearly signifies that India is an important market for Lufthansa. So how much does it contribute to your global revenue?
Will: Well, definitely for us India is one of the most important markets. And we know for sure what we can expect out of the market, which is why we really do a lot of communication here. We know that a lot of Indians are still are not flying and that the demographics show that very soon India will be the number three aviation market in the world. And that for sure is a huge opportunity for us, as well. India is a very strong, growing market. While Europe and America may be big in terms of absolute numbers, the growth rate is not comparable.
Sharma: This is why our campaign is a perfect fit, because at the heart of #SayYesToTheWorld is our mission to inspire people to go out, travel, say yes to the unknown, and be open to the world full of possibilities. That’s why we are using the power of questions, which will basically spur the thought process of the new age Indian traveller towards not just the conventional, but the unconventional path of travel as well.
Q] You have also used augmented reality on your website to express the thought better…
Sharma: That is something which has been done in New York and Germany. We are looking for a localized version of it.
Q] What are the biggest challenges you face in India?
Will: The biggest challenge is to get enough capacity from our planes because there is a lot of growth in India; domestic is 20%, and international is easily between 8-10%. We are not really able to increase 10% of our capacity every year to fulfill the demands. We tried to do this by introducing Airbus A380 last year which is our largest aircraft, as also the A350 with higher capacity. We have doubled the flights to Pune and introduced a Brussels Airlines flight - Mumbai to Brussels. Therefore a lot has been happening, but it still falls short while catering to the huge market which we see in India. I hope that the future will be a little easy. There will also be new aircraft coming into our fold, but it will take some time.
Q] What kind of change have you seen in the Indian traveller over the years?
Will: India is changing - the new Indian is exploratory. India has set passenger segments which go beyond the normal pass and boundaries. Today you will find Indians who are travelling not only in family groups, and to visit friends and family, but also to explore the world. They want to travel solo, young couples set out to see the world, even the ladies who earlier bemoaned the fact that their husbands were always away on business trips, now get to travel together. And hopefully we are inspiring our customers through this campaign to think positive and be open-minded about their life. Travel is something which opens your mind and gives you a new, impactful perspective. Moreover, we are not leaving out the frequent business travellers either. We want to tell them to dedicate 10 minutes of their time to experience something unique, considering that they are in a different part of the world.
Sharma: Additionally, when we are talking about the exploratory Indian, he is not just someone who has travelled a lot in life and is now going to go the offbeat path. It could be someone who has been saving money all year with an aspiration and wants to travel to Frankfurt, Switzerland, Singapore, Bangkok - places he may have never travelled to before. Travelling is an aspiration for him. Nowadays, we have young people who don’t believe in saving up anymore, who work just so they can travel the world. And then you also have retired people who just say, “I am done with responsibilities, now I just want to travel and live my life.”
Q] Any plans in the near future to start a domestic airline in India?
Will: Just a year ago, we integrated Brussels Airlines into our portfolio. Last year, one of the most popular German airlines - Air Berlin went bankrupt, and we took over part of it which is in the process of integration. Basically, we are so preoccupied with the consolidation process in Europe that there are no resources for us to go beyond that at the moment.
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