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Be There with Emirates

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Havas Media was tasked with pushing the breadth of the Emirates Network in a way that was different and relevant to consumers – breaking all the clichés and devising a content marketing approach that augmented this proposition in a meaningful and engaging manner, showcasing Emirates as a unique travel partner. 

The agency therefore set out to create the “Be There” marketing programme that complemented its already planned advertising efforts, but which would offer inspiration, intimacy and energy towards the Emirates brand. 

The “Globalista” target audience are people who are passionate about travel – discovering the world to realise their ambitions, claim new experiences, and taste different cultures.  Travel is in their blood and exploration is their oxygen. They wake up to the sunrise in Dubai and sleep to starry skies over Africa. Where they are going is more important than where they have come from. For them, it’s about seeing new sight, and looking with new eyes. 

But inspiration is everywhere for these people, especially online. There are literally thousands of travel bloggers, all offering their own independent views and recommendations. How could Emirates compete and make a difference here and equally how could this drive brand equity for the Emirates business? 

The answer was inside. Inside the Emirates business. It turned to the real life Globalista’s that make up some of the 40,000 employees that work for Emirates, hailing from over 130 nationalities. Yes cabin crew but also engineering, accountingIT, ground staff and maintenance people.   

Underpinning the programme then would be the insight that what makes Emirates work, what makes Emirates different as a lifestyle brand, are the real people that embody the same spirit of travel and adventure as they do, the same passions and values, and the same desire to share their life experiences. 


When we ask ourselves, ‘why we travel’, we don’t have to look very far for the answers. It’s the personal stories of passion, ambitionchallenge, love, and discovering the undiscovered. 

The opportunity was to create a unique Emirates Be There content marketing programme that would seek to inspire travelers to explore more of world, through the eyes of Emirates' very own travel experts - Emirates Globalistas.   

Havas Media MENA worked with Emirates to choose seven of its staff with an undoubted passion for travel, to explore different destinations, and to capture and share their experiences through film and image along the way.   

Candid, original, and personal, they would engage audiences by showing them their reasons to travel, through the things that are most meaningful to them - fashion, food, adventure, extreme sports and local culture - in different parts of the world. 

It recognised early on that authenticity would determine credible delivery, just as it is reflective of the many travel bloggers that pour their own time, passion and persona into their narration of travel experiences. It’s what captures interest, creates inspiration, drives people to share and would ensure that Emirates be received as relevant by Globalista audiences. 

Here then it took strategic instruction from “authentic” travel brand behaviour – being transparent, honest, accessible, and inclusive in delivery.  Indicative of this approach, Havas Media partnered with a highly authoritative media partner to achieve integrity at scale National Geographic. It needed to make the content to always be about the Globalista and their experience (with the brand as enabler) and used social, personal channels and placements (YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.) 


Content Creation – the agency produced content around three tasks: 

• Introducing Be There to relevant audiences – why this was different 
• Getting to know the Globalista’s – why they matter, how they’re authentic 
• Globalista destination experience content - 40 cities across six months 

Its rich partnership with National Geographic (NGC) provided training for the Globalista’s, helping them to deliver relevant, mobile-ready content. Further still, it took select content from the small screen to the big screen, commissioning several Globalista films to be aired across NGC channels. 

Curation and Discovery: The agency built a microsite to serve as repository and curator of Globalista experiences over the course of the activity. As a traffic driving destination, it enabled Havas Media to extend the user journey beyond distributed video content, allowing audiences to get to know the Globalistas, explore destinations and even buy flights. 

Distribution: It harnessed the scale and precision targeting offered by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (i.e. travel enthusiasts, passion verticals, keywords, semantics etc) to generate hype around launch, and maximise paid and organic views of the experience films. 

Havas Media looked to shift from paid media dependency to earned media generation, in order to manage its CPV delivery on-target. Similarly, it planned adaptively to viewing behaviour on devices, measuring campaign performance in real-time via GA + Atlas and Ad Serving Data, allowing it to optimise mobile vs. desktop based on engaged usage (completed views, time spent, shares etc.). 

Finally, the NGC partnership delivered incremental reach and attention  via international NGC TV feeds, and NGC social channels. 


In terms of media and business metrics: 

• Programme total reach of 100 million unique viewers 
• Delivered 37.4 million video views (beating objective by x2) with overall CPV of $ 0.03 (beating target by -40%) 
• 11 million views delivered  in the first six weeks of the campaign 
• Achieved 200k social actions (likes, shares, etc) 
• The Be There content platform (microsite) received 440K unique visitors 
•The programme contributed to $ 10.9 million dollars of revenue (post-view impressions) via 

The media planning learnings were of equal importance, and key from these were: 

- The different strengths of different social platforms. 
- Much higher video completion rates on YouTube (averaging 25%), indicating quality of content consumption experience. 
- The power of Facebook was in the delivery of much higher targeted reach and video view volumes, but also a greater level of social engagements, resulting in almost one million incremental organic views due to the social context and viral impact. 
- Being mobile first is not necessary always the right approach. 
- Facebook performed much better on mobile devices compared to desktop, driving higher video completion rates and a lower Cost per View (10% difference on average).  
- YouTube on the other hand demonstrated the opposite trend, where desktop performed significantly better than mobile and tablet devices (25% difference on average).

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