Historically, Air France has showcased the most beautiful ad campaigns in the world. Its new one…not so much.
I’ve raved about the beauty and simplicity of previous Air France ad campaigns. They have always been elegant and underscored the quintessential French image of the airline, whether true in reality or not.
The new campaign is entitled, “Take A Chance Or Fly Air France.” The rhyme is cute. The premise is also fair. Air France is indeed a full-service airline that offers Champagne and hot meals in economy class and over 500 hours of video and TV programming. It is also true that many of Air France’s low-cost competitors will charge you a la carte for inferior versions of all of these amenities.
The New Ad
One Mile at a Time points out that passengers really do not need to be reminded there are other ways to travel. Furthermore, this sort of entertainment and food is not available on any shorthaul Air France flight.
He’s right. An Air France executive misses the mark in a NY Times interview:
“We want to remind our clients and our future clients that there is another way to travel, even in economy, where everything is included,” said Dominique Wood, Air France’s executive vice president of brand and communication. “You’ve got a very comfortable seat, you’ve got a hot meal and a full complement of entertainment, and if you can have it — if you’re the right age — a glass of French Champagne.”
“We are quite convinced that most of the low-cost carrier’s clients don’t know that they pay nearly the same price when they travel with the low-cost company because when they have the luggage, the meal, the drinks, the entertainment, at the end of the day it’s very similar to the all-included price they could pay with Air France,” Ms. Wood said. “As we have the image of a quite premium airline, it’s not obvious for them to understand that.”
From what I’ve seen, passengers fly low-cost-carriers to save money. Your typical passenger is not going to buy drinks, meals, and entertainment onboard. They will bring their own. Consequently, this comparison is true, but not helpful.
Furthermore, I think most passengers are sharp enough to always factor in the differences between a legacy and budget carrier (especially as every LCC website tries to upsell you throughout the booking process).
Air France’s new ad is not bad, just not very helpful (it seems to me) in helping customers distinguish Air France from its competition. How much more would you pay for a glass of Champagne? (served in plastic)