New Delhi: Low-cost carrier SpiceJet Ltd has launched its first television campaign after its turnaround from the 2014 financial crisis. Although the campaign has been rolled out to set the pace for SpiceJet’s second innings, its tone is similar to the airline’s previous campaign launched in 2010-11.
Executed by Publicis Capital, the new campaign comprises a series of short, humorous creatives, highlighting SpiceJet’s premium offering SpiceMax. The ads underline services a flyer can expect—from hot meals to spacious leg room.
Launched in 2014, SpiceMax is a premium product that claims to offer six-inch extra leg room compared to standard seats in airlines, personal space to work or relax, as well as priority check-in at dedicated SpiceMax counters at major airports. For availing a SpiceMax seat, customers have to pay Rs.1,000 extra for Boeing and Rs.500 extra for Bombardier aircraft.
For the record, the low-cost airline sought state support amid concerns that it may wind down operations in December 2014. Read more
The revival process started after its founder Ajay Singh bought back majority equity from Kalanithi Maran of Sun TV in January 2015. Ever since the airline has taken measures to improve its sales and operations. In the last two years, it has launched customer-centric services such as SpiceClub (a prepaid membership card), Fly For Sure (a scheme under which a flyer can get an insurance at Rs.299 against flight delays, missing a flight or cancellation), MyFlexiPlan (product that allows passengers to change the date of travel or cancel the booking without paying cancellation fee) all aimed at reinstating Brand SpiceJet.
Publicis Capital, the agency behind these campaigns, was also hired a year ago to improve the equity of SpiceJet among flyers. Meanwhile, the airline’s media duties are being handled by Madison.
Debojo Maharshi, chief marketing officer, SpiceJet, said, “Our campaign mirrors the spirit of celebrating everyday moments with SpiceJet. Through fun, engaging and slice of life situations, the commercials persuade the consumer to make a smarter choice by choosing to fly with us.”
Conceived and created by Fingerprint Films and directed by Karan Shetty, the campaign is being promoted on digital platforms and will be heavily promoted across television with sporadic outdoor leg at airports.
Hemant Misra, chief executive officer, Publicis Capital, said, “Ever since the new management took over, SpiceJet is doing great business and hence there was no need to highlight that the airline is back in business. This campaign highlights what SpiceJet can offer instead of harping on the past. SpiceJet is giving consumers an option with SpiceMax to avail better services with a nominal extra charge.”
SpiceJet operates 293 daily flights to 41 destinations, including 35 domestic and six international ones. It connects its network with a fleet of 25 Boeing 737NG and 14 Bombardier Q-400s. The budget airline reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of Rs.73.2 crore after taking a one-time expense of Rs.173 crore towards stabilising and improving the reliability of its fleet.
Talking about the communication effort, Anirban Chaudhuri, senior vice-president and executive planning director, J Walter Thompson, Delhi, feels that the current series of commercials are more of an attempt to promote a new product ‘SpiceMax’, rather than an attempt to enhance brand equity for a sustainable play.
“SpiceJet, in my view, dived south on these counts for some time. In 2015 they had the highest complaints ‘per ten thousand passengers’ amongst players in the Indian sky. Resurgence in terms of numbers started with series of discount sales. The quest for a mindshare was through driving sporadic youthful dance and song activities. But the road to recover brand imagery requires insightful pioneering solutions that address real human challenges,” he said.
According to him, the brand needs to first establish reliability among the flyers before promoting a service that comes with an additional price.