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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

#AirlineWager Best Use of Twitter

Entered in Twitter


The objective of the #AirlineWager was to continue promoting our sponsorship of the Qantas Wallabies without associating ourselves with the Rugby World Cup (which was prohibited). We wanted to connect and engage Qantas Wallabies and rugby fans and show our support for the team during the Final. Our social strategy was created also to promote our partnerships in a way that our audience would engage with. Finally, we wanted to create and be a part of the excitement of the historic trans-Tasman final.

Strategy and Execution

When our competitor airline, Air New Zealand, also became the sponsors of our sporting rival, a double rivalry was at hand. We decided that some friendly competitor Twitter banter would be the perfect way to both engage our audience with our rugby partnership, and to be part of the chatter surrounding the world final. We secretly partnered with Air New Zealand, as they are the official airline of the New Zealand All Blacks-- the rival team to the Qantas Wallabies. Because we were not permitted to associate ourselves with the Rugby World Cup itself, we needed to find an innovative way to create excitement and continue our support for our team. By creating a wager with our rivals, we were able to generate interest and excitement over the final game between the Wallabies and the All Blacks, continue our support for the Wallabies, and engage our audience. Our banter with Air New Zealand lasted ten days from our first tweet to our follow through on the wager.

We began the Twitter banter with Air New Zealand before the final game was even set. After tweeting about our excitement for the semi-finals, Air New Zealand replied, "Excited…and a tad nervous? One more win for the both of us and you could be facing off against this," with an intimidating photo of their team, to which we replied "@FlyAirNZ Don't worry mate, we're ready for you #StrongerAsOne." After a couple more tweets, media was already buzzing about the rivalry with headlines like "Battle of the airlines ahead of Rugby World Cup final" (NZ Herald).

After our initial banter, we got serious. We began discussing a wager, and each airline took its turn suggesting the stakes. The first wager suggested was a painting of the planes in the opposing team's colours. These images went viral, and everyone on Twitter had an opinion about the paint jobs.

Then, the real bet was agreed upon. The losing team's airline crew would wear the winner's jerseys on the flight home (see entry image). After the Qantas Wallabies' tragic loss, we sent a congratulatory tweet and followed through on our end of the bargain. We tweeted, "A bet is a bet. Today we followed through with #AirlineWager and we accepted jerseys from @FlyAirNZ." The response to this was amazing. Everyone in the Twittersphere appreciated our sportsmanship and congratulated us on a job well done in the social media space. Sonja Stanley tweeted, "More power to you @Qantas! Admire your sense of fair play," and Peter Foreman tweeted, "A great commercial sense of humor @Qantas & @FlyAirNZ #AirlineWager."

Twitter was the perfect platform for this campaign because it allowed quick and witty conversation, suggestions and comments by followers and fans. The #AirlineWager was the best use of Twitter in 2015 because the platform completely lent itself to our goal—quick banter, trending hashtags, easy for everyone to join in the conversation, and gave Twitter users the perfect platform to go wild for the #AirlineWager!


The #AirlineWager, simply put, went viral in Australia and New Zealand. To name a few stats:

-Estimated reach of #AirlineWager was 12 MILLION

-#AirlineWager hashtag had 6,689 matches

-Picked up by BBC News, The Today Show, The NZ Herland, mUmBRELLA,, The Telegraph, TVNZ, Newstalk,

-The campaign trended on both Facebook and Twitter

-Direct responses on both Twitter and Facebook had almost 98% positive sentiment. Sentiment on Air NZ's posts were also positive for Qantas

-Our "A bet is a bet" tweet was our most retweeted since joining the platform, with 1,290 retweets and 292,167 impressions.

-#AirlineWager gained attention in multiple countries, the top 5 being New Zealand, Australia, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States--a worldwide success!

The #AirlineWager allowed us to continue our support for the Qantas Wallabies, create excitement surrounding the final game, all while generating positive sentiment and attention for Qantas as a brand. By using Twitter, our fast-paced banter and witty #AirlineWager were able to make a bigger impact than we ever thought possible.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Qantas Airways