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Being desi: Lufthansa India’s success story

29-March-2017
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Being desi: Lufthansa India’s success story

Lufthansa India is back with its second India-specific TVC and it once again tells viewers why Lufthansa is ‘More Indian than you think’. You guessed it right, it is the desi-food, desi-entertainment, and trademark Indian hospitality that Lufthansa says makes the airline as close to Indian as one would like.

Although, these attributes of the airline have been around for 20 years, Sangeeta Sharma, Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications, Lufthansa Group Airlines, said, “We had not talked about these attributes and probably had taken it for granted that people had known about our in-flight services.” She added that the initial TVC was aimed at letting those who don’t fly Lufthansa know about the desi-attributes of Lufthansa.

In 2014, Lufthansa launched its first TVC made for India featuring a young boy and his grandfather flying Lufthansa to New York from India. This time, the ad is set around an English cricket team that is preparing for a match against India. The team’s coach drives his team to do everything like the Indians – train like the Indians, meditate like the Indians, eat like the Indians, even dance like the Indians – as a strategy to defeat the Indians. Finally, when it is time to fly to India, the team flies Lufthansa and is treated to Indian hospitality, Indian food, and Indian entertainment options, making it the ultimate Indian experience. On last count, this TVC had received more than 5 million views on YouTube.

The brief for the ‘More Indian than you think’ campaign was to convey the message that Lufthansa as a brand is respectful and sensitive to Indian sensibilities while it is German at its core. “We essentially wanted to communicate that brand Lufthansa reflects the soul of Germany with the heart of India,” Sharma said.

Lufthansa backed up its campaign with BTL activities to make the India connect stronger. It launched the Lufthansa Runway to Success and Startup Expo as part of which the airline partnered with Indian businesses to empowering new entrepreneurs. The Lufthansa Cook & Fly initiative brings recipes from Indian homemakers into Lufthansa’s in-flight menu. And the Diwali Surprise campaign in 2015 as part of which the airline ran a contest to win free tickets.

Until 2014, Lufthansa used its global campaigns with no customisations in India. The Indian campaign was the first such country-specific campaign launched by Lufthansa. “The China and US specific campaign came after the Indian TVC,” Sharma shared.

The success of the India-specific TVC has been clear and undeniable for Lufthansa as an airline and as a brand. Following the first campaign in 2014, Lufthansa saw a 13 per cent passenger growth and more than 80 per cent of the target group with awareness of Lufthansa recognized the TV spot. “Over a period of three years, we have not only been able to connect with Indians from India but all over the world,” Sharma said. She also added that the campaign is Lufthansa’s way of celebrating India’s undeniable influence on the world and how the world wants to be like Indians in simple yet enticing ways.

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