Staff Reporters
May 16, 2023

Asia-Pacific Power List 2023: Edward Bell, Cathay Pacific

Turbulence is a part of flying; Bell’s innovative strategies, which are a perfect blend of safety, reliability and a little fun, improved customer touchpoints for the brand and was key in keeping Cathay aloft.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2023: Edward Bell, Cathay Pacific
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Edward Bell

General manager, brand, insights and marketing communications
Cathay Pacific
Hong Kong
Returning Member  

At the helm of one of the most well-recognised airlines in the world, Edward Bell has helped Cathay navigate turbulent skies as it struggled to recover from the pandemic.

Despite the headwinds and severely restricted budgets in 2022, through full marketing activations via owned channels, he managed to grow the brand in key home markets and keep it steady across APAC.

He’s managed to do that with initiatives like the merger of Marco Polo Club and Asia Miles programmes under the new overarching travel and lifestyle ‘Cathay’ brand. The mission with a new integrated loyalty programme was to offer customers more personalised experience and benefits. The initial campaign announcing the offerings drove 15 million impressions, more than 5 million video views, 173% global growth in member acquisition and 1000% growth in membership page visits.

After the uplifting of travel restrictions, Cathay’s marketing campaigns have been even more innovative and impactful. With a focus on sustainability and customer experience, Bell’s agency partners VCCP and Publicis have rolled out a string of engaging campaigns this year that speak directly to the needs and desires of their customers. Prominent among them was the ambitious recruitment campaign, the largest HR drive in the company's history announcing the plan to hire 4,000 staff by the end of the year. It generated 45 million impressions and accumulated 6 million views across all online video platforms. There are twice as many job applications, over 100,000 for landing traffic linked to the campaign, which is evidence of the marketing effectiveness.

In addition to these initiatives, Cathay Pacific’s commitment to sustainability to reach net zero by 2050 implies that Bell’s team is working on campaigns that align with that roadmap. For example, as part of the Fly Greener series, they launched Asia’s first major Corporate Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Programme which has seen strong support from local authorities and fuel suppliers. Cathay is one of the first airlines in the world to announce a 10% SAF for total fuel use by 2030.

Bell, who before Cathay Pacific served long and successful stints at FCB and Ogilvy & Mather, remains an outspoken advocate for Cathay Pacific and the wider industry, regularly seeking his opinion at events.

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


Campaign Asia

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