“Fly Like a Penguin” Dubai International Airport new advertising campaign

March 10, 2015
dubai international airport penguin ad

Dubai International Airport launched yesterday a new campaign on social media promoting it’s world-class retail, food outlets and services facilities offer. The objective of the campaign was to reinforce Dubai International’s status as the world’s number one international airport by highlighting the diverse products and services offering.

But have they done it the right way?

The cheerful 1.59 min video that was posted on Dubai International Youtube channel and Facebook page showcases a penguin that travels a very long way to discover Dubai’s international airport.

Yes, the campaign is very well executed and the choice of the penguin is supposed to reflect the fact that even the least expected visitors would be the happiest in Dubai starting from the airport where they will enjoy a relaxing experience since they even have a sauna!! Yes the penguin is very cute and the music is very nice.

However, I can’t help but question many aspects of this campaign:

– Why still go for the “traditional“ format when you are mainly advertising on social media? The least they could have thought of is a short film that is a bit more interactive and engaging for the users.

– The video was produced by Hometown, a London-based advertising agency. This is the main problem of advertising in Dubai: the people who are behind the majority of the creative work have no clue of the local culture.

– The ridiculously cheesy voiceover starting 1.36min that makes you wonder if they went totally over budget before they were able to actually produce the full video.

– The “poor” content, and by “poor” I don’t mean cheap because again I find the video very well executed. What I mean is that the only content we actually notice are the various products and brands placement that are giving rhythm to the video.

What I don’t understand is that they are trying to promote the exclusive experience of Dubai International, but they chose to do it the “traditional” way by visually communicating the brand and product benefits. Instead, they should have used the power of social media and experiential marketing focusing primarily on helping consumers actually experience the brand.

So I have compiled 5 of the best airports/airlines campaigns that focus on user’s experience for inspirational purposes only.

The upgrade challenge by Air France

#Iamtheguest by Aeroports De Paris

A meeting with Santa Clause by Spanair

Unexpected luggage by Virgin America

Cover greeting by Schiphol Airport and KLM

Hoping that next time it will affect the creative work of brands in the MENA region and take then one step ahead.

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