Incheon Airport is one of the busiest ones in Seoul, South Korea. Despite being a large and highly trafficked airport, the company behind it believed they could see many more travelers if they unrolled an innovative campaign, aimed at capturing the hearts of younger travelers. The best way to do that? With K-pop, obviously.
The CEO of Incheon believes that the key to maintaining success as times change is to reach out to the millennial market, offering them a reason to use their airport over others in the area. He estimated that close to 80 percent of the traffic seen at Incheon are Asian travellers, and about 60 percent of those fall into the millennial age range. Once these facts became known to him and his marketing team, the solution to creating an ad campaign to specifically target them became crystal clear.
Very few things universally appeal to all members of a targeted demographic. “Millennial” is a term often used to describe people anywhere from 25 to 35 years old, with there being outliers on either side. This is a huge group; one with differing needs and interests. However, one thing that nearly all millennials in South Korea share is a love for K-pop. This is where the idea to bring in BTS, one of the most popular K-pop bands in the world (not just South Korea) came into play.
Also known as the Bangtan Boys, they have won multiple awards, including the Top Special Artist Billboard Music Award in the United States. The band as a whole has over 15 million followers on Twitter, and each member enjoys a healthy following across social media accounts as well. Each time it seems that their fame has it a peak, their star somehow keeps rising.
The ad campaign is to feature BT21, which is a collection of eight animated characters representing the band and their fans. BT21 was designed by the members of BTS themselves, making it a campaign that diehard fans are going to seek out in large numbers. Incheon plans to release eight short mini-films highlighting the perk of traveling through Incheon, including their various amenities such as a spa, golf course, and indoor skating rink. Of course, you can also find BT21 merchandise scattered throughout various airport gift shops, as well as at one dedicated store that is going to sell only BT21-related goods.
With air travel becoming increasingly competitive, airlines need to find a way to stay ahead. Especially for airports that pride themselves on offering a wide range of goods and services. Using pop stars in marketing campaigns is nothing new, but this might be the most innovative approach yet.