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Aer Lingus

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Million digital Impressions

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Average reduction in cost per action 

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Clips of pure user generated content (UGC) 

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Greater ad recall

Challenge

We are well and truly living in the era of consumer sales fatigue! Brands across every category have gone to the well too many times, punch drunk on the promise of an easy fix, unable to wean themselves off a highly addictive ephemeral lift they see from turning the “sale” tap on. When it comes to airline seat sales it’s even worse! Consumers simply don’t believe them, they don’t trust them, they don’t understand them. Because, unlike consumer durables or any fixed price goods, the premise of a sale implies an easily understood and dramatically transparent reduction in the price something is today compared to what it was yesterday. But airlines sales don’t work this way, there are too many variables, the “price” is floating, and the saving is often far less obvious.  

When Dentsu won the Aer Lingus account in 2017 the idea of a seat sale campaign delivering year on year sales increases for Aer Lingus was a thing of folklore, something that had not happened in over a decade!

It was time for a new departure. We called time on the established thinking and fundamentally changed the way things were done! We decided to flip things, instead of concentrating everything we talked about on “our sale” we started to understand and talk about “your travel“ through a highly personalised People-Based Marketing model. We put real people at the heart of the campaign, and market leading machine learning technology at the head!

Solution

Built around four pillars, we shifted our marketing approach from an over reliance on traditional marketing strategies to customer-centric communications.

1) Greater Consumer Understanding 

Seat Sales don’t inspire, destinations do! 

Too much choice is overwhelming – let's make life easier for customers.

2) Reduced Long Tail of Sales Comms

Sale announcements have limited potency – “When does exposure to the same message stop driving action?”

Using our industry leading, audience planning tool CCS, we reduced overall “sale announcement” expense by 20%, while still maintaining reach and optimum frequency. 

3) Destination Inspiration Content

Sourcing over 100 clips of pure user generated content (UGC) through a Storyful partnership, we used media to inspire travel to real, authentic and un-photoshopped destinations.

4) Personalisation at Scale

Serving the same generic creative to everyone just wasn't good enough. We used the power of technology to deliver personalisation & drive conversions.

Five variables were pulled into our advertising in milliseconds; one of the most complex dynamic retargeting set ups in Ireland – over 7 markets, 2,000+ routes, single/return tickets, 6 languages and real time API pricing.

Our messaging strategy included four main interest categories, matching in-market flight data with key travel pastimes.

Result

Higher Engagement through Content

  • Ad recall- up 6 Percentage points
  • Purchase Intent- up 5 Percentage points


Higher Conversions

  • 74% reduction in CPA for re-targeting in display.
  • 62% reduction in CPA for re-targeting on social.
  • 81% reduction in CPA for prospecting approach (in key markets).
  • 53% reduction in CPA for dynamic prospecting in search.


Sales Increase

  • Sept 2017 Sale – up 18% YOY
  • Jan 2018 Sale- up 9.3% YOY
  • Sept 2018 Sale- up 5% YOY


A people-based approach, from planning to hyper personalized message delivery fundamentally changed the fortune of Aer Lingus, reporting their highest profits EVER and showing the highest growth out of all IAG airlines!!