Grabaplane: A participatory viral promotion from Air New Zealand


Air New Zealand came to Colenso BBDO and Aim Proximity with a business challenge. Pacific Blue (Virgin) was preparing to enter the New Zealand domestic market in December 2007. Obviously Air New Zealand wanted to minimise the impact of their arrival and stop them gaining a foothold in the New Zealand market. To do this, Air New Zealand wanted to continue to communicate their brand leadership and get them talked about. They wanted to ensure leisure travellers of all shapes and sizes who shop around for the cheapest fares still keep Air New Zealand top of mind.

Our Idea, Grabaplane’, fill a plane with your friends and you have a chance to fly it anyway in New Zealand . A ludicrous offer from GrabaSeat

The mechanic was to create a virtual plane, name it, select your start and end destinations and what you’ll do for a day. To be eligible for the plane you need to fill it with 40 friends within the four week promotional period. As a registered user you could only have one flight but you could be invited on as many other flights as you like. Yes a truly viral mechanic. The consumer value exchange was wonderful. How often in your life do you get a chance to grab your own plane for a day and fill it with all your mates and fly it anywhere you want in New Zealand for free? In what is a world first, the Air New Zealand grabaplane promotion captured the nation’s imagination.

The campaign launched on December 15th, 2007 and ran for four weeks. The results of the campaign were huge and was New Zealand’s largest ever online promotion. Over 5% of the New Zealand population was engaged for over a month. We had the launch, the viral build, the close and the event it’s self. We had free media from TV news stories, radio call outs, newspaper articles, Blog postings , face book wall postings.

Check out the campaign show reel below, note the music track is ‘Sun Hits The Sky (Radio Edit)’ by Supergrass.

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