Finnair’s German face: Football legend and world champion Pierre Littbarski
Industrie-Contact AG / PRGN, Hamburg / Germany, 1.06.2011
Piłka nożna, samoloty pasażerskie, Finlandia i Niemcy. Nasz partner – IC PR z Hamburga połączył te cztery żywioły w sprawną kampanię PR, prowadzoną pod okiem samego Pierre Littbarskiego.
The Finish national carrier Finnair flies to six destinations in Germany. Its strategy focuses on transporting passengers between Europe (Germany) and Asia via its hub in Helsinki. Due to Helsinki’s geographical position Finnair can offer its guests the shortest way to Asia. This advantage needs to be communicated Finnair costumers, above all to business travelers.
In Germany the national carrier dominates the airline market. Therefore, other airlines try to focus on their profiles. To boost public awareness, Finnair was looking for an unique characteristic. The aim was to find a “German face” which symbolizes for the costumer a “bridge” between the local market, Finland and Asia. The football legend and world champion Pierre Littbarski was an ideal cast due to his personal background and biography. He is still well known for his football carrier in Germany. Moreover, in Japan Littbarski is one of the best-known Germans due to his carrier as coach. He lives in both countries.
Germany is an important market for the Finish airline in Europe. The “local hero” concept was new for German speaking costumers. The key element of the project was to promote this so-called “local hero” during the campaign. The agency participated during the whole process, which included finding the appropriate hero and presenting him to the media on a press conference in Dusseldorf and at the German travel fair in Berlin (ITB). Furthermore, the agency accompanied the ad campaign on different national TV channels, the Internet and on display boards in three German airports (Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Berlin) with a current blog (www.finnair.com/litti), provided public relations and press releases to key media in the travel section.
The agency’s strategy was to increase the general awareness for Finnair in Germany. The most popular sport in this part of Europe is football – winning the world championship draws the attention from a wide range of people. Pierre Littbarski is a member of the 1990 winning team and well known for his dribbling arts. This positive public opinion in mind the agency convinced Finnair with a concept to choose him as German local hero.
Once Mr. Littbarski was elected by the airline, we started to organize a press conference in Dusseldorf (an important destination in Germany) before the ad campaigns release in January 2011. The ad was produced by Finnair’s media agency from SEK & Grey from Finland. Simultaneously, the IC planed a regularly blog starting with the campaign in February 2011 and invited journalists to the international travel fair in Berlin to learn more about the campaign. Continuous contact to journalists provided public interest during the TV spots in February and March 2011.
The PRGN team achieved:
- A higher awareness of travelers for Finnair (also business travelers due to coverage in business media)
- Further coverage from travel, marketing and local media. Especially at the Finnair destinations in Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Berlin Finnair’s message was communicate.
- TV spots at several programs and in the Internet reached a wider audience.
- Feedback and comments from bloggers at www.finnair.com/litti.
source: IC PR – PRGN member from Germany
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