In today's post-COVID remote-work environment, boosting morale to enrich company culture is no easy feat. But at Delta Air Lines, there's no challenge too big for us, as the phrase "Keep Climbing" is in our DNA.
Summer is the busiest time for the airline industry, and in 2022, "revenge travel" began to trend, a new term defined as "traveling to make up for lost time during the pandemic." In March 2022, we received one of the biggest campaign requests ever: win the hearts and minds of employees during our busiest season on record. We, operationally and financially, could not afford to fail, a scenario that tested our resiliency and endurance, leaving us to prove our reputation as one of the world's best airlines.
So, our team of creatives brainstormed, noodled, and everything in between and finally came up with this: At Delta, we know and love plane engines, so we spotlighted the parallelism of engines and our 90,000-person team for this campaign with one question. If an engine is a system of many moving parts that work to convert power into motion, then what is a team defined as? We molded this "Aha!" insight into a campaign that focused on ensuring employees felt recognized, appreciated, and supported. The campaign came alive via digital and print media, an enterprise-wide volunteer program that assisted customers and frontline employees at the world’s busiest airport, and hundreds of chances to win money, cars, and other prizes.
To make it as relatable, authentic, and relevant as possible, we wanted to bring actual Delta employees and real working aircraft into the mix; after all, it's an operation constantly in motion, 24/7/365. Working with our major hub in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we set about to pull in as many brand ambassadors (employees) as possible, representing all front-line employees.
Since the concept centered heavily around aircraft engines, we turned to our technical operations (TechOps) division, which services and maintains our fleet, and that's where we focused the bulk of our production. While many of our frontline employees are seen by customers (pilots, flight attendants, gate and ticketing agents, etc.), our TechOps team could be more visible, so we wanted to take this time to highlight them in the campaign anthem video.
The primary challenge was producing at the height of our summer operation, the time when people travel the most. We needed to ensure a balance of filming authentic engine maintenance, flight operations, and airport operations while not impacting our employees or customers. It was vital we highlight the many roles that make up our team because, like the many pieces of an engine: each part plays a critical role in the overall system.
This rally cry-style summer campaign empowered our employees, earned strong metrics across internal and external channels, and drew huge accolades from our C-suite and leadership team, who touted this campaign as one of the best they've ever seen for Delta.
Internally, organic Workplace posts collected 11.5K impressions and 273 engagements alone. A single Delta LinkedIn post featuring the campaign video, collected 213K impressions, 84K views, 826 clicks and 793 likes. When our CEO, Ed Bastian, posted the campaign video to his LinkedIn account, it drew in 880 likes and 62 shares.
The momentum this campaign created continued for months after summertime due to its ability to inspire people to keep climbing. Even after our stressful season within the operation, we were recognized externally by:
Glassdoor as the #18th best place to work in 2022, voted by employees
Wall Street Journal as #1 U.S. Airline of 2022
Conde Nast Traveler as #1 U.S. Airline for their Traveler's 2022 Readers Choice Award
Skytrax as North America's 2022 Best Airline with Best Airline Staff service
Fortune as one of the World's Most Admired Companies in 2022, ranking higher on the list than any other airline
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