Fly Responsibly

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KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is asking potential customers whether they really need to take a flight. A new initiative launched last month asks passengers to consider whether their journey would be better undertaken by train. Travelers are also invited to travel light, and to offset flight-related CO2 emissions. Part of KLM’s Fly Responsibly campaign, the initiative invites other airlines to become partners in its Corporate BioFuel Program, paying a fee to cover the difference in costs between kerosene and sustainable fuel.

Why it’s hot: Walking the walk and take on real responsibility to achieve sustainability will capture the modern consumer’s heart for the long term.

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get travel tips directly from (holograms of) locals…

When you’re waiting for a flight at the airport, you’ve usually got some time to kill. Some people watch Netflix on their phones, some have a drink at the bar, but KLM has come up with another constructive way to capitalize on these moments.

They’ve developed a “bar” currently at airports in Amsterdam, Oslo, and Rio de Janeiro where people can connect with others in the country they’re off to visit to gather tips on local customs, culture, and sights.

Dubbed “Take Off Tips”, here’s how it works:

“KLM is matching travelers up with people at the destination they’re flying to. For example, someone at Schiphol Airport who is about to fly to Norway will be connected with someone at Oslo’s Gardermoen airport who is waiting to board a plane to Amsterdam. To connect the people on opposite sites of the world, the bar is equipped with hologram technology so it can project a real-time virtual image of the traveler at the other airport.”

Why It’s Hot:

From a brand perspective, it’s a great new example of KLM “social airline” experience – connecting people to enhance their otherwise impersonal flying experience (see “Layover with a Local” and “Meet&Seat”.

From an experience perspective, it’s a brilliant solution to a common problem – our current main recourse to get the same tips would be Googling, dredging Trip Advisor, etc. – secondary resources to gain a first-person perspective. Plus, it removes quite a bit of work involved in that process.

From a cultural perspective, it’s getting us off our screens and in touch with each other. Increasingly, the promise of technology is not going to be “there’s an app for that”. As digital infiltrates the physical world, technology is facilitating more human-friendly interactions, such as sitting down at a booth and being projected holographically so that it’s just a face-to-face meeting, no devices needed.

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KLM Warms 9 Million Hearts with Beagle Who Returns Lost Items

Traveling is stressful, but there’s nothing like losing something on the plane to really put a damper on the mood. Dutch airline KLM wants to relieve that stress, showing that they will go to great lengths to reunite passengers with lost belongings – even so far as to train a puppy to track down the lost article’s owner in the airport, by following the owner’s scent left on the item.

It’s not real, but rather a heartwarming public relations display of KLM’s dedication to reuniting passengers with any lost items.

Read more via AdWeek.

Why It’s Hot: Animals are effective! As we saw last week with Budweiser’s Don’t Drink and Drive PSA, there’s nothing like a cute puppy to warm even the coldest heart, and this helps get the brand’s message across in a positive, memorable way. In this case, KLM wants travelers to know that if they do accidentally leave something behind on the plane, they’ll get it back.

As a dog lover myself, I definitely see the effectiveness of using animals in TV spots to help sell a service like the Dutch airline. It might be far-fetched, but there’s no fighting the smile that comes from seeing a cute animal.