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KLM Pulls Quirky Rebrand Experiential Prank Campaign to Reinforce its Top Airline Status

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Campaign by DDB & Tribal Amsterdam sees KLM transform and rebrand a restaurant, a bank and a radio station to let Germans know that they are in fact an airline

KLM Pulls Quirky Rebrand Experiential Prank Campaign to Reinforce its Top Airline Status

When asked ‘What is KLM?’ just a fraction more than half of the German population answered ‘It’s an airline’. In other words: about half of Germany’s population (to be exact: 46%) does not know the answer to the question of what KLM is. To make everyone aware of the fact they are the Royal Dutch Airlines, KLM worked with creative agency DDB & Tribal Amsterdam to create an experiential awareness and radio campaign called ‘We are an Airline’. For a number of days KLM turned into what people believed it was: a bank, a restaurant, and a radio station.

A bank, a radio station or even a restaurant

On average 54% of the respondents of the research conducted in august 2018 in Germany were aware that KLM is an airline. Amongst respondents younger than 30, this number dropped to only 37%. Respondents who did not know that KLM was an airline thought it was a bank, radio station or restaurant.

To counter this basic lack of knowledge about the brand in Germany, the ‘We are an Airline’ campaign was launched to drive awareness in a way that pushes the boundaries of traditional advertising. 

The aviation-themed restaurant served KLM inflight meals for free. The cash machine did not give any money but surprised people with a free flight ticket and showed them all the benefits of flying KLM. The radio station had a KLM band playing specially made KLM tracks, and KLM benefits were wrapped in fun KLM news items, commercials and a quiz.

“With our new campaign for KLM Germany, we have taken an insight and turned it on its head. We’ve made a memorable awareness campaign out of the misconceptions that the general public in Germany have around what KLM is.”  Says Esther te Pas, Managing Director of DDB & Tribal Amsterdam.

“This isn’t the first non-traditional campaign we have made for KLM. In previous years we have offered KLM passengers an intelligent luggage tag with location-based tips that guided them through Amsterdam – in another instance we encouraged random strangers at the airport to share a Christmas dinner to underline the fact that the airline genuinely cares for people.”

In addition to the experiential elements, the campaign also rolls out on radio, online advertising and via social media throughout Germany. The campaign song ‘We are an Airline’ by The Flying Dutchmenwhich was made by DDB together with Amsterdam's MassiveMusic will be released in Spotify this week.

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Advertiser: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Brand: Natascha van Roode Armelle de Cordoue, Nadja Daller Sturm


Sound Production Company: MassiveMusic

Creative Agency

Concept: Ed van Bennekom & Jasper Diks

Creative Agency: DDB & Tribal Amsterdam

Creative Director: (Art) Ed van Bennekom/ (Copy) Jasper Dik

Managing Director: Natascha van Roode Armelle de Cordoue, Nadja Daller Sturm

Producer: Jesse Houweling

Production Service

3D Scans: Lisette van der Lee

Production Company

Director: Jonty Toosey

DOP: Bruce Jackson

Offline Editor: Lisette van der Lee/ Lisette van der Lee

Producer: Rainer Spix, Chirus Guder, Bian Tabar, Robert Leisewitz

Production Company: Who’s McQueen


Music Production: MassiveMusic


Edit Company: DDB & Tribal Amsterdam (Offline) /Editor off-line Lisette van der Lee (Online)

Editor: Editor off-line - Lisette van der Lee/ Editor off-line Lisette van der Lee/ Compound (Online)

Genres: People

Categories: Airlines, Travel

DDB EMEA, Tue, 06 Nov 2018 15:05:32 GMT