Etihad’s Stunning New “Flying Reimagined” TV Commercial

The timing of this is sort of funny, because just last night I shared Etihad’s awesome The Residence, First Apartment, and Business Studio promotional ads. As I said in the post, if there’s one area Etihad excels in, it’s marketing. They really, really know how to market their products. Like, really well.

Today Etihad has unveiled their latest “Flying Reimagined” TV commercial, featuring Nicole Kidman.

Here’s how Etihad explains the new advertisement and their choice of casting Nicole Kidman:

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Commercial Officer said: “Etihad Airways is constantly pushing boundaries, taking inspiration from the world to provide a superlative in-flight experience for our guests. We are rewriting the rule book and reimagining flying by breaking away from convention and leading the way in innovation, design, style and hospitality. This new campaign has succeeded brilliantly in bringing our unique brand and service ethos to life on film, in print and on digital channels.

“Nicole Kidman, as a globally respected artist, was the perfect voice and face for our story, and embodies worldly sophistication, intelligence, originality, and elegance – values which form the foundations of the Etihad brand.”

It’s a stunning ad, visually and in terms of the message itself. Is it realistic or does it represent reality? Not really. I do think Etihad is an innovative airline (as we’ve seen with their amazing new A380s), but I think they’re giving themselves a bit too much credit. Then again, which airline doesn’t (other than American, which uses the slogan “Going For Great,” whereby they’re basically admitting that they aren’t great)? 😉

Still, I think the commercial is sufficiently over-the-top so that it’ll actually attract attention and make people want to fly with Etihad, even if they’re not in first or business class.

And I’m also quite pleased that they replaced Dannii Minogue with Nicole Kidman. Dannii’s level of exuberance sure made it seem like she was “sitting” on something other than an airplane seat.

What do you think of Etihad’s new advertisement? Is it captivating, too aspirational to be useful, both, or somewhere inbetween?

Comments

  1. Odd traveling willie, my reaction was that they wasted money on a name celebrity at all. Somehow, I do not expect that Kidman’s fee will be recouped and that an attractive woman, of which there are many, would have been as effective.

    But Ben is right, the video is smashing and does heaps for Etihad’s broader brand, even if 80% of the brand is flying people around in rather ordinary Y class.

  2. Eh, never been a huge fan of Nicole Kidman. The ad border’s on the silly fantasy stuff usually found in perfume ad’s like Calvin Klein or Coco Chanel. Wish they had kept it a bit straighter, was waiting for the obligatory prince to show up and take her in her double bed. A bit over dramatic for my taste, and I like Dannii Minogue’s exuberance…makes her real…unlike this silly tween fantasy ad.

  3. Sure it’s an overclaim but the commercial focuses on a product that they really do offer. Etihad may not exactly be understated in the ad. But imagine the same ad being created by another airline. Like, say, United? The reaction would be totally different, total laughter and mocking. Which isn’t the reaction here. And that alone says something about Etihad as it sets itself apart from (certain) other carriers.

  4. While Dannii Minogue is a bit over the top and screams to much her ad actually is lots more factual and gives you details about the product that are useful for those who one day is hoping to fly the product.

  5. @Rob – I think you may have misunderstood Etihad’s intentions here. They aren’t trying to sell the hard product, they are selling the experience….. They are selling an idea of something to aspire to, and positioning themselves above and beyond the competition.

    @Lucky – you are correct. The advert is simply stunning and magnificently executed.

  6. @ No Name — To clarify, I don’t think that Dannii Minogue video was an advert, per se. In other words, it would have never had a 60 second TV spot. Different type of ads, ultimately.

  7. I like the advert but think an elegant non-media face would have been better. Nichol was fine and Daniii detracts. The message sets Etihad on a different ecolutionary trajectory to US airlines philosopically.

  8. Oh, and they are also selling the Emirates in the advert too. The airline is an extension of their modernizing culture. This is inline with Etihads / Abu Dhabi national business model (which the US airlines are quite grumpy about).

  9. @Alexander I believe I did get the point, but felt it’s execution was a bit on the ridiculous side. Why can’t one aspire to great things, like the gold standard of first class airline service without constantly having to resort to fantasyland like daydreams and pixie dust? How about having a smart ad that speaks intelligently yet creatively to your intended customer base? I’ve been in advertising in NYC for 28 years and countless ad’s like these get made every year and I work on them every year, I’m an audio engineer that does sound on ad’s like these. Not especially creative, just self important on the director’s part IMHO….YAWN.

  10. Attractive ad, brings people in,…but, big BUT, the clientele that can purchase this, really don’t watch TV. On what station will this play? Travel Channel? Airport lounges? I have no doubt that Etihad will sell this service very easily. It is a very limited offering. Why bother with an ad? You don’t see commercials for Rolls Royce, they don’t have to advertise. Etihad isn’t a household name in America. Probably will never be! So, by using TV advertising, will this create passengers for the other Etihad seats? I really don’t believe so. Many Americans will never fly a Middle Eastern carrier. Some employers prohibit it and many Americans ethically have problems with Middle Eastern carriers. I think the American carriers’ worries are overblown. Let Etihad waste money, eventually it will help all the other carriers in the world.

  11. @ JohnB — I don’t think it’s necessarily intended to get more first class passengers. I think it’s trying to do two things:
    — Build brand awareness for Etihad, which I think it does well; it’s an ad I think everyone will pay attention to
    — Generate interest even in economy; they’re not advertising “first class reimagined, but rather flying reimagined; they’re counting on this to generate demand for economy as well, in my opinion

  12. My, Etihad does like Australians (well expat Australians)! I’m indifferent to Danni but I thought she did give a decent job at promoting the product (as another mentioned, she gave a rather informative presentation). Nicole Kidman, while having NAME recognition (particularly in the States), is an over-exposed I’ll sell anything (Swisse vitamins anyone?) identity and one that I would have thought risked a corrupted message for Etihad. Also why only women flogging Etihad’s premium cabins? Do balls not sell? Lol. (But please, no Russell Crowe flogging the product – why not a lovely Canadian instead like Ryan Reynolds).

  13. “It’s stunning.”

    I’m very sorry. But this is just a really *tired* commercial. And you making this statement is just really bad writing.

  14. Reminds me the Air France mid 2000 ads, but tacky. Anyway, selling a premium experience with someone who used to be Chanel’s face is clever, well done Etihad!

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