Air New Zealand recently launched its new ‘Seats to Suit’ option for flights between New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands, giving customers the opportunity to choose between four different ways of flying — Seat, Seat + Bag, The Works and Works Deluxe. And, in now fairly traditional Air New Zealand/.99 style, it's created a quirky piece of promotional content to highlight the different options.
Tom Bates, Air New Zealand's social media man, says the airline decided not to go with a micro site this time round and instead chose to keep building the Facebook community, which he says is a much more cost effective way in reaching people, with no site build and less media required to drive awareness.
"We also love being able to host our content in a environment where they are more likely to share and participate with our brand," he says.
And for a bit of good-natured Facebook bribery, if you 'like' Air New Zealand, the likers will be treated to some extra hidden content (of a few stag do hijinks).
In 2009 the airline conducted focus groups to find out what customers really wanted when it came to travelling around the Tasman and Pacific. And the key word was “choice”. One could be forgiven for thinking this new offering goes against the all-inclusive fare approach that was so successfully marketed by the 'Nothing to Hide' campaign, which helped the airline retain market share in the face of hot competition from carriers offering user-pays-type fares. But, according to Mark Street, Air New Zealand's head of PR, it still fits this ethos.
"The premise behind Nothing to Hide was that there were no hidden surprises in your ticket costs, e.g. credit card surcharges as used by others. This new product offering also adheres to Nothing to Hide, as you know exactly what you’re getting for what you pay. It’s just you have more choice at face value."