Monday, December 17, 2007

Brand Update : Kingfisher Airlines

Kingfisher is right now running a print campaign in major business publications. To be frank , the campaign did not catch my eye because it is too ' Un-Kingfisher " ads. I expected the Kingfisher ads to be flashy, glamorous but these ads were totally against my perception.

The new series of campaigns are focused on the functional attributes of the airlines. Deviating from the usual flashy ads, Kingfisher is now appealing to the Left- brain of the consumers. The ads are targeting the three segments of users i.e Children, Ladies and Males but the ads are talking to Men who are the key decision makers .

The ad for the young travelers talks about special kids meal,wide seats and games. The ad ends with an appeal to the father that " Your little prince deserves to feel like a King ".

The ad for the lady travelers talks about the seats that bend all the way back, the footrest that will pop up , life valets when your lady lands at the airport at midnight and helping hands that lift her bag. The ad ends with the message " Queen of your heart deserves to fly like one ".

The third in the series aims at the decision maker itself. The ad aimed at male traveler as usual talks about the ' flying models ", the smile that tastes better than the icecream, spectacle cleaner and the air-boutique. The ad ends with the message ' Every man's seat feels like his throne'.

The new campaigns aims to reinforce the service differentiation of this airline. Kingfisher has humbled Jet Airways through its clever service differentiation. But to sustain the service differentiation is not easy because the competition can easily emulate or even make good on your service strategy. Also the brand should keep its costs under control when offering service differentiation. That requires a clear understanding on the consumer expectation regarding the service quality .
With regard to the quality of campaign, it may miss some eyeballs because of not being an eye catchy ad. But the message surely is smart. The basic premise in this ad campaign is that Men are the decision makers with regard to this service. May be a campaign aimed at lady executives may also come in the future.

One strategic reason behind this campaign is to broaden the user base for this brand. Kingfisher has been a hit with the young ( at heart) male fliers and the 'flying models ' , inflight service were well taken by this segment. May be the brand managers feel that Kingfisher is not perceived as a airline for " Family " . The campaigns, the positioning , the hostess all make the brand to be perceived as an airline for men. This can create certain issues in the future and there is a potential problem of the brand restricting itself to a specific gender. The new campaign tries to address this issue and is wooing the non-business travelers as well as the family members of the TG. By way of addressing the larger audience , Kingfisher is trying to take on the Jet Airways' main customers.

On the promotional front, Kingfisher has signed up the latest diva of bollywood Ms Deepika Padukone as the brand ambassador.

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  1. well its interesting to see that kingfisher has come up with a totally new style of ads....but if you ask if i am surprised to see the move....well not really. that is beacuse, for kingfisher airlines to have a distinct brand identity from that of kingfisher beer, it was important that they make a subtle move away from the glamour and flash. The kingfisher, as a brand , was never considered as a family brand, mainly because of two reasons. the beer and Mallya. This is one thing that could be a problem when you use the same brand name for different products. People tend to think that the products with the same brand name would be having the same attributes that of the prodcuts from the same stable. But when you are running a service like an airline, you need to get out of that narrow image of "young aspiring males who like to party hard". An airline is a more vast sector and such a segment cannot suffice for long. on the other hand....we all may say mallya is india's answer to branson but then he doesn't have much of a following in the family audience. that is one drawback when you are flashy, colorfull and you are passionate about the brand and when people know all about it. people tend to form an opinion about the product depending upon the Chief of the brand. in the case of beer there is no one better than mallya...but when it comes to the longrun we need some change.
    even in this changed ads that are coming up that shows a bit of rebranding thing going on...we need to keep in mind the target audience that they have selected is not very far from their existing base. they have just changed the family lifecyle of the audience a bit. now they are young married with one or two children below the age of 10-12. at least that what i make out from the ads. thats a very carefull approach that they have taken.....

    i feel like going on writing on and on but then the goodtimes too are calling me.....cheers
    Geevarghese Thomas

  2. Really informative , never knew tat Kingfisherhad come up with such an ad. Was the ad successful in achieving its objective . Anyways great sir for those insights. I think not even a single brand mised your eye. Very sharp!


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