Last night, Turkish Airlines returned to the Super Bowl with an ad for the third consecutive year. But this was a bit different, to put it charitably.
Rather than a showcase of the onboard product or reminder that Turkish Airlines serves more countries than any other airline, the 30-second ad was more like a trailer for a film. In fact, that is exactly what it was.
Here’s the Super Bowl ad, which ran during the 1st quarter:
Most viewers were left collectively scratching their heads. What is this about? Sure, it shows the Turkish Airlines business class cabin, new airport in Istanbul, and new flight attendant uniforms. It also shows how beautiful Istanbul is. But what is going on in the ad? Why is Turkish Airlines making a Ridley Scott film?
Moments after the ad premiered, Turkish Airlines added the entire six minute “film” across its social media outlets:
Will This Sell Airline Tickets?
There is no question I enjoyed both the 30-second ad and full six-minute movie. I truly love Istanbul and love how the movie showcases the timeless charm of East-meets-West in the former Constantinople. At the same time, I’m not sure this movie will sell airline tickets.
The 2017 and 2018 ads focused on Turkish Airlines as a global gateway. Now that violence has waned in the Turkish capital, Ankara, and in Istanbul, the focus on visiting Turkey may appeal to more. And of course the “chase” also implies Turkish Airlines has a great route network. But it does seem like an expensive gamble.
I would have thought Turkish Airlines would have again used its Super Bowl spot to explicitly highlight its superb route network and introduce its new business class seats. Instead, it left us with a very odd movie trailer to a move that only tangentially highlights Turkish Airlines.
What do you think of the 2019 Turkish Airlines’ Super Bowl ad?