Aviation has one of the widest gender gaps, meaning in most US aviation occupations women make up less than 20% of the workforce1. As the largest airline in the US by revenue and a people-first brand, Delta Air Lines wanted to leverage its TikTok following to amp up the volume and showcase female talent powering our operation. Women’s History Month proved the ideal cultural moment to highlight Delta women doing their part to close the gender gap in an empowering, ownable way.
Conventionally stories for Women’s History Month (WHM) aren’t told in lyrics, but knowing we wanted to use TikTok as the medium for our WHM message, we had to consider a creative approach that would be on brand with Delta’s people-first culture, allow the personalities of our female talent to shine through, and align with what TikTok audiences expect.
On a tight timeline and with no budget, we reviewed current platform video trends in search of a high-energy video treatment that would resonate at the time of posting, while also having staying power well past when the video would first drop. Inspiration sparked in early 2022. At this time, "Telephone" by Lady Gaga was a hit song slowly gaining traction as a popular backdrop to a specific kind of TikTok video, and we bet it would soon be a highly popular video style but also one with staying power. While the song had nothing to do with aviation, Delta, or WHM, it captured the empowering and energizing emotion we knew our female employees could bring to life as we celebrated them doing what they do best everyday.
With trending Gaga lyrics and an accompanying production style identified, we cast three of our own female employees lip syncing in the spaces that are most familiar to their work: We positioned our flight attendant in the aisles, our pilot in the cockpit, and our ramp agent under the plane, removing shocks from plane tires.
When it came time to shoot, each employees’ welcoming, caring and elevated energy and unique personality came through right on cue, naturally reflecting the Delta Difference core to our culture and our commitment to never stop climbing for greater workplace diversity, equity and inclusion —all the while ensuring our video would fit well within a TikTok environment.
This catchy video rapidly racked up 12.8M views, drove 2.9M engagements, and picked up earned media when featured on outside channels including Upworthy and Atlanta’s 11 Alive, local news station.
The most telling impact of the video is likely best felt scrolling the comments, where delighted customers and fans sung back to this lip syncing video with praise for the fiery way Delta chose to showcase female history in the making within the careers of our people.