easyJet turned 20 in 2015. The birthday marked a milestone for Europeans, as the airline has always been a consumer champion, making it easier for them to explore Europe without breaking the bank.
VCCP and easyJet wanted to use this opportunity to launch an integrated anniversary campaign that focussed on those that helped the brand get to where they are today – its passengers. The campaign objective was to remind the audience of their favourite adventures from the past 20 years and the role easyJet played in those, in order to create positive associations with the brand. A second objective was to ensure easyJet was front of mind and amongst the top considered airlines when our passengers were considering the next holiday.
VCCP, VCCP Kin, easyJet and OMD worked collaboratively to create a fully integrated 20th birthday campaign. An ATL TV ad helped build the brand by bringing one family's story to life in an inspirational way, using a Ferris Wheel to spin through 20 years of their growth. But instead of just replicating the TV ad with our online content, we wanted our audience to feel part of the journey.
We noticed that people already loved sharing holiday pictures online – and decided to play on this existing popular behaviour.
easyJet therefore encouraged fans to share their favourite holiday photo from the past 20 years with information on when and where they were, along with any other memorable details. They could do so on Twitter or Instagram using #TimeFlies or they could enter directly via a dedicated microsite (20years.easyjet.com), which was translated into 8 languages across 7 markets. We even created a dedicated staff microsite to ensure they got involved, too.
Our incentive was simple – share your memory for the chance to win flights or even have your photo appear on our 20th Birthday Plane. We set a KPI of 10,000 entries for our competition which was based on averages of other branded UGC competitions which have run, with an uplift to take into account all European markets getting involved with the activation. We also surprise and delighted some other touching entries with free flights once we hit 100,000 entries.
Our campaign hashtag - #TimeFlies – tied the whole integrated campaign together and acted as an entry mechanic for people to get their travel story featured across Europe. The hashtag allowed the brand to both be reminiscent and forward thinking throughout the campaign, whilst tying the act of recalling fond memories to easyJet's role in these stories – the flights.
To further ensure that customers were considering their next holiday with easyJet, we followed up with inspirational content that brought different European destinations to life. Fans had the opportunity to collaborate with the brand in making some of these pieces, further putting customers at the heart of the experience.
We exceeded our primary KPI of 10,000 entries, reaching 110,000+ entries in the five weeks the campaign was live, with 5000 entries on the first day. Entries came from eight countries across Europe, including 1,099 entries from easyJet staff.
Additionally, interaction with our content was four times higher than usual. Our microsite (20years.easyJet.com) received 280,000+ unique users, had 4000 shares on Facebook and average dwell time on the mosaic was three minutes.
Photos from our #TimeFlies campaign appeared across easyJet social feeds, with winners featured on a weekly basis. We were one of the first brands to take advantage of Instagram's new advertising opportunities and the creative concept integrated well with the look and feel of the platform.
User submissions also appeared in their In-Flight magazine 'Traveller' which is read by over 68 million passengers per year with the photos being used on the easyJet website, emails, digital media and social channels throughout the year. The #TimeFlies hashtag appeared on bus-sides and billboards across our key European markets. And of course, over 110,000 photos appeared on our 20th Birthday Plane, which was unveiled to the media and guests at the birthday event in Luton on the 10th of November through Vine, Periscope, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, resulting in memories literally flying through the air.
The campaign, especially the social elements were unique to easyJet and the airline industry, as they helped easyJet transform their customers into their very own generation easyJet brand ambassadors.