Air France Marketing Campaign

Marketing Campaigns

Air France began direct service between Vancouver and Paris on March 29, 2015, marking the first direct non-stop flight between YVR and Paris. To ensure this much sought after route achieved strong sales and a competitive advantage, YVR developed a marketing campaign designed to showcase the new service, introduce Air France as a leading airline and build excitement about their business and premium-economy experience, and continue to position YVR as BC’s gateway to the world. Tactics included:

• Hosting an inaugural gate event on March 29 to raise media awareness for YVR and Air France by celebrating the arrival of the first flight. The event included branded YVR and Air France materials, a ribbon cutting, a unique Parisian themed photo op and speaking opportunities. The event saw 80 VIP guests as well as 300 departing passengers. Guests included the Ambassador of France to Canada, the Minister of National Revenue and the Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business, as well as airline executives.

• Including special activities and attractions in the terminal to raise awareness of the new service the day of the inaugural event. This included placing a marketing activation booth in the terminal to interact with passengers, , sampling and giveaways by World Duty-Free—including a 10% discount for all passengers on the inaugural flight—and placing an accordion player and mime at high-traffic locations in the terminal.

• Planning and participating in a private cocktail event hosted by Air France at the Vancouver Art Gallery on March 30 that sought to position Air France in the market as key influences. The event included local media, travel and trade representatives, members of the local business and education community, government representatives, YVR and Air France staff.

• Supporting Air France’s efforts to create awareness through promotion of Air France contests via social media and YVR’s editorial channels. The contests, which offered contestants a chance to win a trip to Paris, included:

o The “Bon Voyage” marketing activation, a staffed booth placed in several high-traffic key demographic locations in Vancouver. The activations included ambassadors who gave away branded collateral and asked the public to enter the contest.

o A trivia contest starting on February 26 that continued online until the inaugural flight.

o A branded “Selfie Stand” alongside a replica Eiffel tower in the airport terminal, which encouraged people travelling through YVR to take photos and post them with the hashtag #BonVoyageAG.

• Supporting Air France’s strong ad buy in the local and international markets through a local media buy for the Bon Voyage marketing activation in Vancouver.

Entry Statement

1. Project Goals: 

YVR’s marketing team developed a strategy that would meet the following objectives:

• Increase market awareness of Air France’s service between Vancouver and Paris
• Drive ticket sales for Air France
• Position Air France as a leading airline
• Create buzz / excitement amongst British Columbians regarding the new service
• Earn high-quality media coverage in major outlets across B.C.
• Increase awareness / excitement of Paris tourist highlights
• Increase social media following for Air France and YVR

2. Production: 

Inaugural event, March 29
Planning for the inaugural event began in November 2014. YVR’s communications team oversaw the overall event management including supplier management, registration, security, branding, editorial and media outreach. To earn the greatest amount of high-influence media stories, YVR Communications staged a unique photo opportunity to bring Paris to life at the gate. An external agency created a replica of the Pont des Arts lovers’ bridge on-site with locks on it. Speakers sealed the locks on the bridge to symbolize the start of a new relationship between YVR and Air France.

Cocktail Reception – Vancouver Art Gallery, March 30
To ensure Air France was properly positioned within the business community, key influencers and the travel and trade community, YVR provided event support, prepared and coordinated the list of invitees, gave financial support, and wrote speaking notes for our spokesperson.

Social Media and Editorial
YVR’s marketing team provided social media and editorial support from the moment Air France announced the new service. YVR supported a local media buy for the Bon Voyage activation. Social support included original posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram; editorial support included content in the YVR blog, the YVR newspaper, Sky Talk, and articles in YVR’s monthly newsletter, Air Mail.

3. Evaluation: 

A well-executed social media plan in concert with Air France, strong engagement with YVR’s plane-spotting community and active media chatter all contributed to an extremely successful reach—approximately 105,089 people on March 29 alone. YVR’s social media engagement was at an all-time high for the Air France inaugural. The YVR twitter account received more ‘RTs’ in a single day than ever before; the Facebook post announcing the aircraft arrival earned more ‘Likes’ than any post in our social history; two of the Instagram posts were the most ‘Loved’ back-to-back posts we’ve ever had.

In addition to the 80 VIP guests and 300 departing passengers at the inaugural event, thousands of other passengers passed by the event and the marketing activations, generating further brand awareness and buzz. More than 4,000,000 people were reached through print, television, online and radio earned media coverage of the inaugural event.

YVR’s support for the cocktail reception led to a strong showing from key organizations. Over 60 people attended the cocktail reception, including Canada’s Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, the French Ambassador to Canada, executives from local businesses such as Flight Centre, media representatives and more.

YVR’s promotion of the Air France activation also drew a large amount of attention in and around the airport. The ambassadors received more than 6,000 interactions in Vancouver and generated over 500 contest entries.

4. Budget: 

The total budget for the Air France inaugural event was $25,555. This budget is reflective of external resources utilized for the design of the event creative, which included signs and a Paris-themed backdrop and bridge, as well as event logistics, entertainment and services.

Item / Service Price
Catering $3,762
Photographers $552
Videographer $2730
Entertainment $840
Signage $3,395
Ribbon $250
Logo wall $2,144
Bridge $11,659
DJ $315
Cake/Cupcakes $995
Airport Butler $960
AeroMag Bus $130
A/V $650
Securiguard $160

TOTAL: $25,555

YVR’s social media and editorial support, as well as our participation in the cocktail reception, drew on internal resources.