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Creative Creative Works KLM

KLM celebrates its centenary by creating an ode to the airline's history


By Imogen Watson, Senior reporter

October 8, 2019 | 3 min read

To celebrate its centenary, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has produced a reflective ode to the airline's long history.



Founded in 1919, KLM is the first commercial airline still flying under its original name to hit that milestone.

To celebrate this achievement, KLM tapped DDB Unlimited to create a film that captures its long history, while showing the progress that has been made - both in aviation capability and in society as a whole.

The film tells the story of three generations of women who each inspire the next to work for KLM - from the first flight to the airline today.

It opens in 1919, with a young girl excited to see a classic KLM Fokker F.II plane fly over her house. Her plane obsession inspires her to become a flight attendant and take to the skies to visit lands far beyond. Her work causes her daughter to follow suit.

While the first two women worked as flight attendants, the spot concludes with the granddaughter in the cockpit, taking off in a Boeing 787-10 as captain - a job that traditionally has been seen as male territory.

Discussing the campaign, Boet Kreiken, executive vice-president customer experience, KLM said: “Today, we at KLM celebrate our 100th birthday, so it’s a great moment in time to talk about what we really stand for. We believe in bringing people together. Caring for our passengers.

"On top of this we also stand for continuous progress. Progress in aviation, obviously, but also progress in a wider sense. Also, we’ve never forgotten the magic of flying. A magic that has been passed on through generations of customers, fans and employees.”

Adding to this, Esther te Pas, managing director at DDB Unlimited stated: “We are telling a universal story which ends with a twist - hinting at how society has evolved in the last hundred years. We were able to recreate the past in such fantastic and realistic detail by treating this like a period feature film.

"Our team at DDB Unlimited worked with the director Ismael ten Heuvel and the historians at KLM to research everything fully to ensure that every detail is spot on to truly do justice to the rich heritage and history of KLM.”

KLM: 100 Years of Progress by DDB Latina


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