LOS ANGELES: Air New Zealand recently announced it is holding a ‘matchmaking flight' in October 2009 as a way to draw an alternative demographic of travelers to the airline and New Zealand. The flight, departing Los Angeles and arriving in Auckland, New Zealand, is designed to inspire American singles to visit New Zealand, but is open to travelers from anywhere.
“New Zealand is often positioned as a thrill seeker, adventure destination, but it's also very romantic too,” said Sarah Miller-Reeves, PR and sponsorship executive for the Americas at Air New Zealand. “This allows us to present the romantic nature of New Zealand... really engaging a wider cross section of American consumers.”
To engage potential ‘matchmaking flight' travelers with the brand, the airline created an online community using Ning, www.thematchmakingflight.com. Members can create profiles, interact with one another, and pose flight-related questions to a moderator.
Additional features on the network are unlocked after consumers book the flight, such as the ability to become acquainted with the flight crew and send Facebook gifts to fellow passengers, said Larry Lentz, online marketing executive at Air New Zealand.
The flight will feature romantic movies, speed dating, and other matchmaking games to encourage interaction between those on-board. There will also be pre- and post-flight parties in Los Angeles and Auckland.
Playing on the fact that Auckland and Los Angeles are located on opposite sides of the world and have opposite climates, the airline is incorporating the idea of ‘opposites attract' into its messaging. In addition to traditional media relations, the PR team is placing a strong focus on its social media presence by utilizing Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, and the video site 12seconds.
Miller-Reeves said the airline, which is working on this campaign with its AOR, CRT/tanaka, will likely work with its usual partner organizations like Tourism New Zealand and the New Zealand Wine Growers to further promote the flight.
“We definitely try to be more edgy and kind of push a little bit and really think outside the box,” Miller-Reeves said.