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Why Embraer chose to style itself as an 'attacking shark' to win over global airlines

The changing face of the #Embraer #E2 Profit Hunter

Gravity Global won Best Multichannel Campaign at The Drum B2B Awards 2019 for its ‘Profit Hunter’ campaign for Embraer. Here, the agency reveals the challenges faced and the strategies used to deliver this successful project.

 

The challenge

Embraer, a Brazilian company, is a world leader in design and manufacturing of aircraft in 70-150 seat segment (known as regional jets), fighting for share with the likes of Boeing, Airbus and challengers including Sukhoi and Mitsubishi.

Stakes are high; Embraer predict that demand for 70-150 seat commercial aircraft will reach 6,400 new jets within 20 years, a $300 Bn market. Competition is intense, with competitors making identical claims. Embraer has developed 3 new next generation aircraft called E-Jets – E2-E195, E2-E190 and E2-E175 with two now in service with airlines.

The objectives for this campaign included:

• Close gap on Positive Brand Sentiment with Boeing and Airbus.

• Increase global reach and brand awareness by maximizing media opportunities across paid, owned and earned on same budget as previous year.

• Ensure prospects visit the aircraft during sales tour.

• Lead aviation headlines during Farnborough 2018 and beyond.

• Beat previous campaign results by 10%.

 

The strategy

Embraer wanted to transform its perception as a regional aircraft manufacturer known in the US and Latin American markets to be perceived as a global manufacturer of the most efficient aircraft in the world.

It’s a real challenge to win the attention of the global audience of airlines from around the world, particularly as the industry is dominated by two giants – Boeing and Airbus. Gravity’s goal was not just to show Embraer taking part in the industry conversation but to dominate through the power of creativity and to do so at a global scale. The campaign needed to work internationally, building on Embraer’s awareness in its established markets and helping the brand enter new markets in the Asia-Pac region.

We created an integrated campaign that utilised events at and around air shows, viral video, VR and AR, animated OOH, Print, Social Casts and Social Media. Gravity research indicated the key issue occupying airline management is how to generate profit in this fiercely competitive industry with ticket prices under immense price pressure.

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The campaign

In response, Gravity created personas for the audience and the aircraft. Renaming the E2-190 and E2-E195 (not memorable) as the ‘Profit Hunter’ reflected the proposition (most efficient/profitable) and the target market’s needs (profit).

The ‘big idea’ was to use hand-painted predators from the natural world on nose cones to attract attention and reflect efficiency and profit making.

The Farnborough International Airshow July 2018, the showcase for new aviation products and services, was chosen as the stage from which to launch. Our  challenge was to ‘own’ the Farnborough Airshow and make the campaign relevant to new, growing markets in Asia-Pacific.

As well as reflecting the predatory theme, we needed to highlight features in the cockpit and cabin; the cabin has a unique two seat configuration in all classes, so ‘no dreaded middle seat’, and promote key innovations in aircraft connectivity. Gravity positioned these features as ‘sensory innovations’. To emphasise the sensory characteristics of the aircraft, we created sensory event experiences using AR and VR to showcase technological innovations.

The Shark was chosen because of its predatory and sensory prowess – characteristics that perfectly matched the Profit Hunter’s technology, and relevant to the Asia-Pacific tour.

The ‘attacking shark’ creative required real bravery because, although it stood out, there were concerns it was too aggressive. Despite this, it was hugely positively received, dominating the Farnborough Air Show, being picked up by the world’s leading media including CNN and Fox News, achieving sales of $15.3 Bn and creating queues to see and be photographed with the aircraft.

 

The results

The new 2018 Embraer ‘Profit Hunter’ multichannel campaign has given the brand new levels of fame from the largest markets of the US to one of the smallest islands in the Pacific, Kiribati, were the locals literally queued to see the new aircraft with the incredible campaign nose cone art.

Employing striking imagery, it’s brave and disruptive deployment across all channels set new records across all KPIs. This campaign has significantly outperformed the last, achieving close to double the reach, improving engagement by 60% YoY and all without an increase in budget!

Further highlights include:

• Record sales of $15.3Bn.

• Growth as a global brand with increases across all regions in impressions: Americas +37%, Europe +109%, Africas +1073%, Asia-Pacific +60%.

• Dominated the media. Audience reach up from 8.8 Bn to 16.1 Bn, hitting front pages of CNN and Fox.

• Completely outperformed across all KPIs.

• Doubled reach.

• Tour generated long queues to see the Shark Profit Hunter.

• 73% increase YoY in brand mentions totaling 497,921.

• Engagement increased 60% YoY.

• Positive brand net sentiment up from 47% in 2017 to 84% in 2018.

• Achieved 93% positive net sentiment for Ejets – highest recorded net sentiment, outperforming Airbus and Boeing.

• 67% increase in likes YoY.

• 62% increase in ‘Earned’ posts YoY.

• 74% increase in comments YoY.

Maria Regina Cyrino Corrêa, global head of promotion strategy at Embraer Commercial Aviation, said: “Embraer and Gravity make a perfect combination. Gravity understand the importance of developing an idea consistently across a range of media and other channels. We have won many awards because we work together with freedom and trust each other. We are reaching our goals because of this.

“It’s not easy to be creative in such a technical B2B environment, yet Gravity produce work that makes us stand out from our competitors. The basis of all relationships is admiration and respect; these two words describe what I and my colleagues have for Gravity.”

 

This campaign was a winner at The Drum B2B Awards 2019. If you think you can scoop the prize next year, register your interest in 2020's awards.

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