Imagine winning a free flight from Sydney, Australia to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. But this flight isn’t just for you, it’s for you and 302 of your favorite Facebook friends. But it doesn’t stop there, you also get three nights accommodation for you and your 302 friends, as well as a return flight to Sydney, all paid for by AirAsia.
In 2012 this dream became a reality for Julie-Anne Foster. She and 262 of her Facebook friends boarded a plane in Sydney for a once in a lifetime experience, which CNN described as “the biggest Facebook friendship test ever conceived”. The contest, developed by Noble Studios, was created to get the word out about AirAsia’s new Sydney to Kuala Lumpur route. Their target audience was the Sydney metropolitan area, a highly competitive market for budget airlines. The goal was to increase Facebook engagement, leading to more ticket sales for the new Sydney to Kuala Lumpur route.
A breakdown of the contest can be seen in the AirAsia Friendsy video below, but the gist of it is: any Facebook user can pick up to 302 of their Facebook friends to go on this journey, users can decide everyone’s seats by dragging and dropping their friend’s into the seats on Facebook, or can do it randomly by pressing the “easy” button. People were able to tag their friends in their Air Bus A330, and take a screen shot of it to share on their own Facebook pages.
The contest was a huge success and the campaign won a Silver Award in the Facebook Studio Awards, and according to the Facebook Studio Awards page, “The campaign grew the AirAsia Facebook fan base by 30%. The competition received 12,500 entries and reached 2,291,483 people on Facebook, which is a whopping 20% of Australians using Facebook! It grew from local, to national to international news, generating PR value of $1,627,593!”
The screenshot below is from Noble Studios website, explaining the success of the campaign.
This campaign proves to be a #SocialWin because it gained likes for AirAsia’s Facebook page, reached over two million people and won two industry awards. It created an engaging and exciting way for people to learn and talk about AirAsia in new and different ways. The contest not only helped build (or hurt in some cases) friendships, but also brand awareness and helped build a community around the AirAsia brand in Australia. During the contest people were engaging with each other and with the brand through personal Facebook pages as well as on the AirAsia page. The contest created a lot of hype about the brand and helped create awareness in and outside of the Target audience.
One thing I would do to better the campaign is promote it more on other social media platforms. There was a heavy focus on Facebook, and for a good reason. But I think the contest could have benefited from more posts on other social sites (Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube Google Plus because it was still a thing in 2012). Overall though I think Noble Studios created a great campaign for AirAsia and it can be seen in all of the measurements above.