Cannes Lions

INSTAGRAM TAKEOVER

SERVICEPLAN, Munchen / SWISS INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES / 2013

Awards:

1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Switzerland’s national airline, SWISS, wanted to reach new target audiences with a mobile campaign. It wanted to promote both its extensive route network and the large number of intercontinental direct flights to Switzerland.

For this campaign we agreed on Instagram as the most suitable mobile platform. Here users from around the world share their photos of, for example, city breaks, holidays and events they have visited. With its 100m users, Instagram has grown to be one of the world’s largest photographic archives. We made use of this wide-ranging potential to run the first genuine sales campaign on Instagram.

One of the best-known events in Switzerland is the International Motor Show in Geneva. Users who showed interest in the Motor Show on Instagram were directed in their search to current flight offers from SWISS. For example, if a user searched for ‘#genevacarshow’ or ‘#genevamotorshow’, we hijacked the photo stream. A SWISS aircraft appeared unexpectedly between the regular photos. At the same time, individual seats in the aircraft showed the different flights to Geneva. Of course every flight could be booked immediately without the user having to leave the Instagram app.

With our ‘Instagram Takeover’ we succeeded in launching a sales campaign on a platform that, until now, has never had any official, bookable advertising space.

Taking the example of the Motor Show, we identified the 10 most important hashtags and set up our flight offers. For this the Instagram hashtags acted as a targeting mechanism.

As the search actively originated from the user, we had practically no wastage. It was possible to make offers and booking opportunities available to interested users without the need for technical modifications. The airline was therefore able to assert its claim of being the number one carrier for flights in and out of Switzerland in the mobile arena too.

By choosing the more popular hashtags, many potential customers saw the SWISS offers. The promotion was received positively by users. The offers were ‘liked’ and shared on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The press and numerous weblogs also reported on the campaign. Without using a media budget we accessed new target audiences for our client, SWISS, as well as creating wider awareness of the brand. Although this was a sales campaign, through creativity and the unusual nature of the promotion, we succeeded in positioning SWISS as an innovative and modern airline.

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