Cannes Lions

Catch a Flight to Buenos Aires

THJNK, Zurich / EDELWEISS AIR / 2020

Presentation Image
Supporting Images
Supporting Images






The Swiss holiday airline Edelweiss offers new direct flights to Buenos Aires. This nonstop flight is unique in Switzerland and not yet known to the majority of the population. The main task is to promote this direct flight to Buenos Aires in an engaging and entertaining way that ensures an innovative brand perception. In addition, the campaign should generate new long term leads and increase bookings. Within the target audience are all the young people living in Switzerland, who are smartphone-savvy and have an interest in travelling. Then Switzerland has one of the highest smartphone densities in the world. 96% of the Swiss population owns a smartphone and the Swiss are among the world's most travelled people in an international comparison. But it’s very unusual for Swiss airlines to offer direct flights to destinations as far away as Buenos Aires. Therefore this nonstop flight to Buenos Aires is pretty unique.


Seeing a plane in the sky is a sure trigger for wanderlust. Using this fact, we turn sophisticated real time flight data of planes in the sky into the AR mobile game “Catch a Flight to Buenos Aires”. This GPS based AR experience lets you use your smartphone to seek and catch Edelweiss planes in the sky bound for Buenos Aires in real time and win flights to go there. The Catch a Flight app works regardless of weather, time, indoor- or outdoor location of the user. Every Edelweiss plane bound for Buenos Aires thus becomes a chance to win a flight for two. That’s how this GPS and real time data based AR experience turn real Edelweiss planes bound for Buenos Aires into an interactive brand experience.


Our strategy is the gamification of real time aviation data in combination with the user’s personal mobile data. Therefore we combine these two different sets of real time data in order to create a new kind and engaging interactive customer experience. On one hand, we have the international aviation authority real time data like lat/long position, altitude, airspeed, flight number and destination information. On the other hand, we have the user’s smartphone GPS and compass data, based on his current location and the real time orientation of his hand hold smartphone. Developed especially for the campaign, the “Catch a Flight” app interprets and connects both real time data streams and turns them into an engaging AR game.


The campaign runs for 33 days throughout Switzerland. At its core the interactive AR mobile app “Catch a Flight”, that lets people use their smartphones to seek and catch Edelweiss planes in the sky bound for Buenos Aires in real-time and win flights to go there. The app accesses international aviation authority data in real-time. By using this aviation data and combining that with the user’s smartphone GPS and compass data, the application is able to accurately pinpoint real flights and display them on the user’s screen, creating the AR experience. The plane labels are stabilized using ARKit/ARCode device localisation and move according to the detected airspeed. The aircraft hunt is then carried out in AR mode or via interactive flight map. A countdown function and push notifications activate users to go hunting for the next catchable Edelweiss plane. The winners receive their e-ticket directly into their mobile wallet.


“Catch a Flight to Buenos Aires” reached 55% of the whole Swiss population (4.7 million) and over 47 million impressions globally. The app ranked no. 3 among the Swiss entertainment apps within only 24 hours. The intense hunt for Edelweiss planes resulted in an average of 2.2 hours of brand engagement per app user. The number of visitors to the Edelweiss website ( increased by +400% and bookings to Buenos Aires went up by +24%. The users engaged deeply but playfully with the new direct flight to Buenos Aires, its flight dates and timetables. In addition, the app installation gave Edelweiss a permanent presence on users' end devices, creating a new and direct touch point with the target audience. It also increased Edelweiss' brand awareness as every participant looking up at an aircraft in the sky hoped that it is an Edelweiss plane to Buenos Aires.