Jason Wincuinas
Aug 24, 2015

Jetstar's brand refresh shines a light on destinations, selfies and travel experiences

‘Because you can’, a rebranding campaign for Australian budget airline Jetstar, moves away from a focus on cheap tickets to highlight destinations, experiences and the obligatory travel selfies that result.

Jetstar's brand refresh shines a light on destinations, selfies and travel experiences

Jetstar is rolling out a new brand campaign starting in Singapore and landing in markets served from that hub (Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines). 

Instead of highlighting low prices, the goal of the rebrand is to make the consumer the hero, which speaks to a common customer-centricity theme that’s growing in Asia, Chantal van Wijnbergen, the brand's Southeast Asia regional marketing manager, told Campaign Asia-Pacific.

“Speaking directly to our customers in a fun way” is a priority, she said. "The campaign rests upon an ever-growing feeling among consumers in Asia that although budget airlines opened up the world to travel, travelling cheaply shouldn’t cost a person in other ways.”

Travellers do understand that low-cost means a compromise on frills, so Jetstar seems to have rightly decided to focus on the thrills part of travel.

“Low-cost carrier (LCC) advertising has always focused on destination and price,” explained Wijnbergen, “but travel should be more than that. It is about the experience.”

To get at the experience and simultaneously focus on individuals' experiences, the brand turned to social media, taking advantage of the flood of travel-related photos and selfies already saturating the internet. Encouraging consumers to further exercise their selfie skills, Jetstar has put over 20,000 selfie sticks up for grabs, giving them away over a two-week period.

Because you can’ launched in Singapore with out-of-home advertising, press advertisements, on-ground and social activations. Four travel hubs across Singapore—Bedok Bus Interchange, Bugis, Dhoby Ghaut and Serangoon MRT stations—will host a series of 3D trick art paintings by local artist Ben Quek, which the airline hopes will help commuters indulge in some faux holiday photo ops and get them thinking about a vacation. The paintings are set to be unveiled later this week.

To keep interest up, the brand will also give away S$100 Jetstar vouchers everyday to the best selfies posted with the hashtag #JetstarBecauseYouCan (one winner each in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines).

While the campaign doesn’t directly invoke price, it does imply a certain amount of freedom or ability to go where you want—and most of the selfies posted so far seem to come from young faces who presumably have yet to amass significant savings or have less disposable income to lavish on travel.

While younger travellers are showing up on Twitter, the brand contends the target audience is much broader.

“Anyone with a phone or camera, and that’s just about everyone, can take a selfie,"  said Wijnbergen. “The campaign inspires everyone to embrace their inner tourist and start planning their next holiday, because they can.”

The brand my have hit on a worthwhile trend. For its part, Boeing has said in its own outlook that LCCs and Asia will be at the heart of all airline growth over the next 20 years. And a report from CAPA, an aviation industry think tank, said earlier in the year that LCCs are still the primary growth driver in Southeast Asia’s aviation market. In particular CAPA pointed out “the bottom end of the market is where most of the growth opportunities lie, given the region’s fast expanding middle class and first-time flyer population.”

Jetstar certainly seems to be looking to cash in on that trend, but it is a crowded field. To the brand’s advantage, one of the trends seen in this year’s Top 1000 Brands was gravitation toward value pricing in Asia. Many of the large full-service airlines slumped in the ranking this year while most of the LCC upstarts gained brand prestige and consumer preference. See how Jetstar has fared over the past seven years since it first entered the ranking.

The campaign could find significant traction in the Philippines in particular; as some of Campaign’s writers pointed out in the Top 1000 Brands coverage for the nation, the island chain is Asia’s ‘selfiest’ market.

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