Michael Rich
Jan 16, 2018

National Geographic and Emirates invite travelers to share in the adventure

The campaign gave user-generated content the limelight, featuring Emirates own employees globetrotting the world.

National Geographic and Emirates invite travelers to share in the adventure

Asia Pacific is home to one of the fastest growing groups of travelers in the world, but capturing the attention of these discerning, independent adventurers isn’t always easy. They’ve been known to jump between more than 700 touchpoints when making travel arrangements online; and they increasingly prefer to travel independently rather than with a tour guide.

Authentic, trustworthy, engaging content from fellow travel lovers is the only way to make a lasting impact with the region’s new generation of intrepid travelers. That’s why Emirates Airlines chose to partner with FOX Content Labs and National Geographic to deliver its global #BeThere campaign—celebrating curiosity and wanderlust through the independent storytelling of Emirates’ staff.

The world’s largest airline, Emirates serves six continents and 140 destinations—making multi-market campaigns a daunting task. To craft a global campaign worthy of the brand’s massive scale and adventure-hungry customers, Emirates held an internal contest to find passionate travel ambassadors from amongst its own 84,000 employees of more than 160 nationalities.

A completely unique digital and social movement was born—the #BeThere campaign, in which these internal Emirates “globalistas” explored 30 Emirates destinations and created their own short-form online content along the way. From pilots to IT managers to cabin crew, the Emirates globalistas were authentic, trusted voices sharing their favorite adventures and local insight with other travelers.

The #BeThere campaign was made possible with the partnership of creative production house FOX Content Labs, via one of its flagship channels National Geographic. To support Emirates in creating stellar content and delivering it to a global audience, National Geographic helped to run the audition process and coached the final seven Emirates globalistas on the narrative skills and visual techniques needed to film their compelling stories while on the road.

Then, after the Emirates globalistas had explored the world, National Geographic helped the airline create six profile vignettes and six key destination vignettes—leveraging the employees’ user-generated content to produce top-quality video assets for sharing on social and digital, as well as across travel lovers’ favorite linear channels like Nat Geo People, Nat Geo Wild, StarWorld and Star Movies.

By creating content based around the passion of the Emirates globalistas and bringing it to a global audience of like-minded travelers, National Geographic was able to help Emirates enhance its position as a creative and authentic voice within the travel community; and uniquely engage employees. With support from National Geographic and FOX Content Labs, #BeThere campaign content was viewed by more than 381 million households across 95 countries; enabling millions to discover new Emirates routes and experience a world of leisure and adventure together with the airlines’ most trusted ambassadors.

FOX’s work with Emirates is just one example of how top-quality content and trusted influencer voices are redefining the future of advertising. With campaigns built on exceptional production values and genuine storytelling, companies like Emirates have the unique opportunity to engage potential customers by speaking directly to the brand’s community in a marketing language they understand. 


Michael Rich is EVP of advertising sales and content partnerships at FOX Networks Group Asia.


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