Does aviation marketing have to be slick and glamorous to be effective?
There is a long-held tradition in aviation that ads must be dignified, beautiful, glossy and perfect.
But there are three reasons this is just not true.
(If it ever was! We suspect some advertising agencies have been perpetuating this myth with industry decisionmakers for YEARS as a way to boost advertisers’ insecurity and agencies’ production budgets.)
- Aviation is SO MUCH MORE than just the VIP private jet market!
- Even the VIP market has changed its definition of “luxury” over the last few years.
- High net worth (HNW) and ultra high net worth (UHNW) people are just . . . people!
1. Aviation is SO MUCH MORE than just the VIP private jet market!
The VAST majority of the money to be made in the aviation industry is business-to-business (B2B), rather than business to consumer (B2C.) So you’re selling to people who need to solve a business problem or create a business opportunity.
Of course, B2B buyers are still just people, but they are acting on behalf of a company and generally are accountable to a boss or a board. 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information from a series of articles versus an advertisement.* They require good ideas about how to solve their problems, transparency about their choices, and solid information they can count on.
While they appreciate polish and professionalism, they really don’t care what shade of blue you use in your logo, as long as you use it consistently. (And yet most marketing agencies will happily help you spend MUCH more time and money on the style than the substance!)
2. Even the VIP market has changed its definition of “luxury” over the last few years.
Although in Latin the word luxury means lavishness, excess and glamor; the word has been reused (mainly by my fellow marketers) to reflect the most desirable option in a category.
This can apply to “necessities” or even business tools, like “My iMac Pro computer with 32 processors is SUCH a luxury, I hate having to resort to my laptop.”
It’s also been used to describe “indulgences” – like “my two luxuries are bath bombs and cheese.” – Not at the same time, of course. 😉
Over the past few years, influenced by the pandemic and world events, our thoughts have changed and our priorities have shifted. The most attractive or luxurious option is not always the most glamorous.
A family trip to a rustic beach house can seem just as luxurious (and more attractive to most of us) as a glamorous evening of caviar and champagne.
3. High net worth (HNW) and ultra-high net worth (UHNW) people are just . . . people!
In this industry, we get to know people at all levels of wealth – from the college student just starting out working on the ramp to the multimillionaire Gulfstream owner to the billionaire corporate investor. These people rarely fit the stereotypes that we see in the movies.
And all of these people want the same things:
- Health and safety for themselves and their families.
- The easiest and most convenient way to get things done.
- Appreciation for what they do well.
- Peace of mind, knowing they can rely on the companies they work with.
- Great experiences with good people.
Wealthier people simply have more options in all of the above. That is all.
So, back to our initial question – Does aviation marketing have to be slick and glamorous to be effective?
Sorry, glamorous agencies! The answer is, no. That is all.
* Source – B2B PR Sense Blog
Can aviation marketing be effective without relying on glamorous advertisements, and what are some alternative strategies that airlines can use to reach and engage their target audience?