In January 2013, innovative printing, labelling and sewing machine brand Brother International launched a tactical brand campaign with low cost airline Mango to leverage the traveller market and expose passengers to the Brother brand while showcasing their range of products. The embracive campaign was designed along a timeline that will see various on-board touch points on Mango with key cabin activations and branding taking place in May and June.

“High visibility and targeted reach of business travellers lies behind our decision to partner with aviation, and in particular Mango, for this campaign,” says Wayne Everton, director for Brother International South Africa. He says that the growing movement of business travellers to more affordable airlines along with the high visibility of Mango aircraft at commuter dense airports played a significant role in tactical development of Brother’s strategic brand marketing ideals. “Brother has traditionally been involved with business solutions to government and corporates, but in this instance we also had the opportunity to communicate to consumers, the leisure traveller,” adds Everton.

To launch the initiative, one of the 6 Mango aircraft was branded with exterior Brother decals creating a giant flying billboard for the campaign. “The exterior branding component has been extended to the end of September so travellers can still look forward to a flight in a mobile billboard,” said Dale De Villiers, marketing manager for Brother International South Africa. “A simultaneous cabin branding campaign coupled with on-board activations in May and in June created a dynamic platform for Brother as well as unique opportunities for the brand to engage with the end user” continues De Villiers.

A multi-faceted initiative, the Brother campaign incorporated the Mango in-flight magazine ‘Juice’ reaching 332,400 passengers in two months, as well as the Mango electronic newsletter distributed to 260,000 unique subscribers whether they were travelling in May and June or not. While on-board, impactful Brother branded headrests and campaign branded tray tables along with the on-board announcements further highlighted brand awareness. An on-board competition for passengers saw 4 lucky winners, on preselected flights, win Brother product hampers to the value of R6,000 each.

The timing of the campaign coincided fortuitously with the first birthday celebration of Brother’s printer line up available in national retail giant, Makro. This provided the opportunity to offer 120,000 Mango travellers a sneak peak of product specials in their local Makro stores through leaflets distributed on-board in the month of June.

“Beyond product, this is an awareness programme over time, to a highly targeted audience,” says Everton who adds that the feedback within the first two weeks of branding the Mango aircraft was phenomenal. “It’s a travelling billboard and a bold statement; and the response has been nothing short of incredible.” While aircraft exterior branding is nothing new, this is the first time that a consumer brand, unrelated to the travel industry, has taken this step.