For a more in-depth look at this Idea of the Week and for other examples of media, marketing and business innovations, visit Ad Age and Cream's inspiration site.
You generally get what you pay for with low-cost airlines: no allocated seats, no food and prohibitively expensive extras everywhere you turn. Budget German airline Germanwings wanted to differentiate itself from the pack, which includes the likes of Ryanair and Easyjet.
Germanwings sets itself apart as a low-cost airline that still lets passengers get assigned seats. Some other budget airlines don't assign seats, letting passengers choose any unoccupied seat as they board -- potentially splitting up families, for example, if there aren't enough adjacent seats left for them.
In a piece of guerrilla marketing, six Germanwings members of staff boarded an Easyjet flight, sitting in various parts of the plane.
Each of them had smuggled in different placards in the shape of speech bubbles with various messages on them.
Halfway through the flight, the airborne flash-mob (or "plane-mob") started. In turn, they each held up signs to create a narrative.
The first sign held up read "Where are you dear?" The next one, held up by a passenger at the rear of the plane, read "Back here!" This carried on with: "And the kids?" with two signs appearing from different rows saying "Here."
Then the criticism started: "I hate this 'choose your seat' thing." When one of the kids holds up a sign saying "Mummy I have to pee," the response is "only if it's free!" -- a swipe at Ryanair, which was contemplating a charge for people to visit the bathroom.
"That's not fair" is the child's response, which in turn is met with "look out of the window -- at least that's free." Finally, the brand is revealed, with all of the planted passengers holding up signs that encourage people to fly Germanwings. All of this was, of course, filmed and then posted onto YouTube.
So far the video has received almost 200,000 hits. See the video and more images here.
~ ~ ~
Cream indexes and analyzes the world's media, marketing and business innovations. Combining a library of more than 2,500 case studies with insight and analytical tools, the Cream Innovation Exchange provides inspiration and helps you discover what's next in the world of communications.