Etihad Airways is set to launch an extensive worldwide campaign as the Gulf carrier gears up for the battle against the Qantas-Emirates partnership.
Designed around the theme ‘The world is our home, you are our guest’, the campaign is decidedly different to anything the airline has done before and plays up Etihad’s global image by showcasing how it draws inspiration from around the world to provide ‘signature moments’ on the ground and in the air.
The campaign kicks off with a slick TV commercial where a split screen juxtaposes Etihad’s onboard service with lifestyle scenes from international destinations, fine dining restaurants and five-star hotels around the world, and is set to the Bobby Darin tune Beautiful Things.
The commercial will air from March 3, although you can catch a preview below.
With footage shot in Sydney, along with Abu Dhabi, Bangkok and Prague, it will no doubt be seen by some as a response to the impending Qantas-Emirates alliance which will launch on April 1.
However Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer for Etihad Airways, is quick to point out that "having focused on product innovation and service excellence, the time is now right to make a bold and confident brand statement to the world."
The print campaign purports to feature regular Etihad 'guests' from various destinations – such as Mike Philips, shown above, who flies "on EY454 every second week" – although an Etihad spokesman confirmed Australian Business Traveller's suspicions that these people are in fact models, apart from Etihad Airways global ambassador and Bollywood star Katrina Kaif.
In addition to being the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad is also one of the world’s youngest airlines, having launched barely a decade ago in November 2003 and only reporting its first full-year net profit in 2011 under the leadership of Melbourne-born President and CEO James Hogan, a former Ansett alumnus.
"It is the goal of Etihad Airways to become the best airline in the world" Baumgartner explains, "Not the biggest, but the best. We have grown rapidly from small beginnings in 2003 to become the fastest growing airline in the world, and one of the most respected."
Etihad is also a major partner in Virgin Australia and holds a 10% stake in the airline, behind Virgin Group's 26% slice and Air New Zealand's 19.9% investment.
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