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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