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Marketer: Valuair

Agency: Grey Global Group

As budget airlines explode in Asia, Valuair tries to stand out

[Singapore] As the trend toward low-cost airlines that has already transformed the airline industry in Europe moves to Asia, Singapore-based Valuair is promoting its value-for-money image while trying to differentiate itself from the other budget carriers that are springing up in Asia.

Valuair is breaking a lighthearted print campaign called "Way Smarter" by Grey Global Group in Singapore. Ads highlight Valuair services normally associated with full-service carriers, such as free meals, a frequent-flier program, ample leg room and extra baggage allowance.

The ads play off the penny-pinching behavior of budget-airline passengers who will do anything to save a few bucks. In one execution, a young Asian man smuggles a huge assortment of food onto the plane in the lining of his coat to avoid paying for a snack. The tagline: "No free meals on board?" Another ad shows an Asian woman dressed in multiple layers of colorful clothing and hats purchased on a vacation shopping spree with the tagline, "Need 20 kilo baggage allowance?"

The campaign will run in key Asian markets such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia, backed by outdoor events. Regional cable TV ads may be added later this year.

Asia's budget-airline market has exploded recently with newcomers in Singapore such as Valuair, founded in May 2004, and Tiger Air, a no-frills service started by Singapore Airlines and the founder of Europe's successful Ryanair. Other newcomers include Malaysia-based AirAsia, Orient Thai Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Lion Air and Air Paradise in Indonesia and two low-cost Australian airlines, Qantas' budget brand Jetstar and Richard Branson's Virgin Blue Airlines.

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