AirAsia has launched a TV commercial that was created by Leo Burnett Malaysia and directed by the late Yasmin Ahmad.
Sadly, Yasmin Ahmad passed away in July of this year. She was executive creative director of Leo Burnett and also one of Malaysia's most well-known and loved script-writers and feature film directors. I was lucky enough to meet her in 2001 when I worked for Asian advertsing trade magazine MEDIA.
Family and relationships have always been a very important theme in Yasmin's films and these themes are also evident in the commercial she created for AirAsia.
Personally, I have never understood why airlines never really make an effort to target families. Afterall, a significant number of people in society have children and family is a pretty important part of many people's lives. I like this AirAsia TVC not just because Yasmin directed it but because it targets families.
While other airlines are out there trying to target male business travelers looking for a fling, AirAsia has positioned itself on some pretty solid brand values.
Its a smart move as far as I am concerned because one only has to look at the brands out there that have become market leaders by targeting families. Adults, for example, don't eat at McDonald's because of the food. The same way, people don't fly airlines because of the food.
The emotional pull that a brand like McDonald's has over the consumer is that people know their children will like it and will be looked after.
The AirAsia TVC tells the story of a little boy who goes on his first flight. The ad shows that he is accompanied by his grandmother. How many airlines do you see out there targeting the elderly?
But once again, it signals to the consumer that AirAsia is a caring organization. This strategic direction, coupled with Yasmin's story-telling abilities and understanding of human relationships, gives the ad some emotional pull.
Another important aspect of this ad, is that it is a departure from AirAsia's price-driven ads of the past. This is a brand campaign that aims to shift consumers' mindset away from price. This is important because AirAsia faces stiff competition from the likes of Jetstar and Tiger. If you have two low-cost airlines offering airfares to the same destination and at the same price, which are you going to choose?
The one that you like. In terms of likeability, this TVC puts AirAsia way up there.