Emirates Airline has been awarded the prestigious fifth Airline Strategy Marketing Award, organized by Airline Business magazine, during a ceremony which took place in the imposing surrounds of Lincoln’s Inn, London. This award is particularly welcome for Emirates as it sees all airlines judged in competition with one another, and truly shows that Emirates shines above its peers in the industry.
The Emirates Group has doubled in size approximately every four years and continues to set the benchmark for an ever competitive airline industry. The airline continues to grow, with Emirates now flying two daily, non-stop flights from JFK to Dubai (and launching a third daily flight via Hamburg in October). Keeping its messaging, advertising and branding fresh and unique in this context has been incredibly hard, but Emirates employs a full range of classic and contemporary elements in its marketing mix to ensure it stays ahead of the game in a very competitive environment.
The Editor of Airline Business, Mark Pilling, who chaired a prestigious judging panel of top executives, explained the rationale for making the award.
He said, “It is ironic that Emirates shuns the use of the word ‘marketing’ in all its job titles and descriptions. This is not because it disapproves, but because it believes the word is too amorphous and could become a reason to spend money without clear objectives. This kind of focus goes a long way toward explaining why the Emirates marketing program was so effective.”
Mr. Pilling continued, “Apportioning its efforts between sponsorships and advertising has evolved to the point where there is now a 50-50 split. Sponsorships deliver fast brand awareness; advertising tries to turn that into sales.
“Advertising, too, is unconventional at Emirates. The airline has a unique virtual agency network with 120 public relations and advertising agencies around the globe coordinated through its EmPower extranet. When the airline plans to launch a new campaign it distributes a briefing, invites agencies to submit a concept and then chooses the best from a creative point of view. Through such links each local agency is effectively part of a global agency. This is the thinking that has produced a consistently excellent marketing program at Emirates, even though it prefers not to call it that.”
Accepting the award, Maurice Flanagan, Executive Vice-Chairman Emirates Airline and Group, said, “The word marketing is a misnomer and one we’ve always avoided. The function sits clearly within our Corporate Communications department, which has been massively successful in promoting our business through a cohesive strategy covering media relations, sponsorships, events, advertising and web initiatives.
“This has enabled us to develop a brand that is now recognized across the globe, and ensure that Emirates is renowned for the quality of service and product that we offer our customers. Receiving accolades like this, from our peers and colleagues, inspires us to try even harder to be market leaders. We promise not to rest on our laurels.”
Emirates has also been nominated this year for a
World Travel Award as Middle East’s Leading Airline.