As the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways wanted to announce the launch of their new non-stop service from Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi in a big way.
Los Angeles is a major global travel hub with a significant metropolitan population area of more than 18 million people and a growing economy. Los Angeles plays a pivotal role in business and leisure travel, with an average annual spending growth rate forecasted at 1.7% through 2016.
Etihad wanted to partner with Los Angeles’ leading media source to increase overall awareness of the airline in the SoCal market and beyond. Their goal was to establish a strong foothold in Los Angeles, a key feeder market for travel to the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East.
One of the challenges Etihad faced when entering the world’s busiest origin and destination airport, LAX, was gaining market share for this highly competitive route. In order to garner the attention of travelers and differentiate Etihad from competitors such as Emirates Airways, the airline had to deliver a high-impact, integrated campaign to quality audiences across different disciplines, including print, digital and events.
Etihad Airways wanted to target 2 segments: affluent travelers with a high propensity for upscale travel; and business travelers who frequently fly to the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East. The Los Angeles Times tactically proposed partnering with Etihad Airways during the debut of the new latimes.com website to also debut Etihad’s new service to Abu Dhabi. The multi-platform solution, which capitalized on the excitement around the website launch and featured Etihad “front and center” across the site and other platforms, included:
- 100% SOV of all ads on latimes.com on launch day (desktop and mobile)
- Paywall sponsorship allowing non-subscriber readers unlimited article access on latimes.com during launch
- Home page and section sponsorships including Business and Travel
- iPad app sponsorship
- High impact print ad units such as newspaper wraps, full pages and front strips
- Features sponsorship in the Sunday LA Times Travel section
- Official airline sponsor of Jonathan Gold’s Bite Nite and the LA Times’ The Taste
Etihad’s sleek creative imagery and luxurious amenities integrated seamlessly with the new design of the latimes.com website to make an impactful and elegant statement for the airline brand. The platform-wide site takeover was massive, garnering local and national media buzz with both Etihad and the LA Times being lauded as “innovative”
The overall digital campaign exceeded 21 million impressions with an average CTR of 0.37%, sending almost 80,000 customers to Etihad’s website
On May 6, when the site debuted, Etihad earned over 11.6 million impressions excluding co-branded promotional media and press articles
Event activations exposed Etihad to upscale L.A. audiences of 9,000+ while offering unparalleled experiences and touch points