KiaOra magazine may not have a cover price, but the value of the publication can be measured in the willingness of airline customers to take the magazine with them as they disembark from the plane. And in September last year during the Rugby World Cup, the demand for the magazine reached an all-time high.
“On one flight down to Queenstown there were only a dozen left on an A320, which was carrying over a hundred and fifty people,” Wigley says.
Wigley admits that this level of interest was largely attributable to the fact that this edition of the magazine focused on the All Blacks and the Rugby World Cup but says the publication has a following of loyal readers “who collect every issue”.
The popularity of the articles among customers has led Air New Zealand to conduct research into the possibility of now also extending the brand across the airline’s other available channels.
“It’s something we’re still working through. It’s really a case of determining how best to deliver KiaOra in the digital space. It’s about finding out how our customers want the information delivered.”
Wigley says customers are particularly interested in having digital access to the features that appeared in back issues of the magazine, and that Air New Zealand is looking into the potential of distributing some stories via its website or app (it does offer the magazine for download via an iPad and iPhone app).
The prospect of extending the brand in this way is also appealing to Hill, who says Bauer is fully committed to adapting the brand to the changing media landscape.
“We continually research and test to ensure the content reflects the evolving Air New Zealand brand,” Hill says. “Air New Zealand has amazing consumer touch points across many channels and the KiaOra content can be used in varying ways on that customer journey”
While plans are yet to be finalised, Hill says that he is already thinking about the ways KiaOra could be taken beyond the confines of the magazine.
“There’s a lot of great bespoke content that Air New Zealand may choose to surface through its digital channels,” he says. “One example could be when you check in online you get a city guide emailed to you from KiaOra on the destination you’re going to in terms of top restaurants and top tourist attractions.”
And should this come to fruition, then the flight attendant’s voice over the intercom at the end of a flight won’t necessarily coincide with the end of the KiaOra reading experience. It could, in fact, serve as invitation to switch over to the region-specific tips served through a mobile phone.