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This is how Embraer promoted its aircraft innovations in a world without air shows

Gravity Global won the ‘Best Response to Change’ category at The Drum Awards for Digital Industries 2021 with its campaign for Embraer. Here, the team behind the winning entry reveals the secrets of this successful project...

The challenge

Embraer, a Brazilian company, is a world leader in the design and manufacturing of aircraft in the 70-130 seat segment (known as regional jets), competing against giants of the industry Boeing and Airbus and other regional challengers.

The latest iteration of Embraer’s ’Profit Hunter’ campaign, ‘A Force of Nature’, had several objectives:

  • To support the recovery of the airline industry as Covid-19 changed the future of air travel and passenger numbers

  • Lead the aviation headlines on sustainability

  • Amplify how Embraer aircraft solves future challenges post-Covid

  • Land the tech message with audiences in an imaginative way

  • Beat previous campaign results

  • Outperform positive brand sentiment of Boeing and Airbus

  • Increase global reach and brand awareness by maximizing media opportunities across paid, owned and earned on a smaller budget than previous years

  • Drive prospects to visit the website

The strategy

Gravity research indicated three key issues keeping airline operators awake at night:

  • How to navigate the impact of Covid-19

  • How to generate profit in a post-Covid world with reduced passenger numbers

  • How to deliver on its environmental targets as climate change becomes the world’s number one priority

The solution to these challenges involved persuading airlines of the benefits of the E2 next generation aircraft, which is a lot easier to fill in an environment of lower passenger numbers and has the innovation and technology to deliver significant environmental benefits by operating with lower noise, less fuel burn, less maintenance requirements, as well as delivering a much reduced carbon emission footprint.

Gravity created personas for the audience and the aircraft, renaming the E190-E2 and E195-E2 (not memorable) as the ‘Profit Hunter’, reflecting the core proposition (most efficient/profitable) and the target market’s needs (profit) – something even more relevant in the current environment

The ‘big idea’ extended from previous campaigns was to use hand-painted predators from the natural world on nose cones to attract attention, but this time it needed to reflect the audience personas as hunters of profit and environmental improvement.

Our challenge was to ‘own’ sustainability without having the ability to visit customers or showcase the aircraft at the various airshows around the world. Covid had closed it all down.

The campaign

We designed an integrated brand campaign that utilized virtual events, viral video, VR and AR, print, social casts and social media.

The E2 Profit Hunter campaign ‘A Force of Nature – Different Animal for a Different World’ included:

  • Painting the ‘Profit Hunter’ aircraft nose-to-tail

  • Press, online display and paid social advertising

  • Paid and organic social posts

  • Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube posts

  • Embraer TV streamed live on social media

  • VR experience of flying the Profit Hunter

  • AR to demonstrate the technology on the aircraft

  • Produced a new Market Outlook report – market forecast, challenges and opportunities for the next 10 years

  • Created a short film series, ‘Incredible Journeys’

  • Customer events (Helvetic, Air Peace, KLM, press, online display and paid social advertising)

  • Insights for a Different World (web series, three episodes)

  • Webinar (marketing communications around webinars, LinkedIn campaigns and email marketing, content writing)

  • All content, designs, UI, development, hosting and management of the ECA website (www.embraercommercialaviation.com)

  • e2sustainability.com web page, content, advertising

  • OOH, print and digital OOH communications, for KLM, Helvetic delivery

  • Social listening and monitoring and reporting

  • Social media marketing and managing social channels on behalf of leadership, including community management

The results

The campaign increased reach and engagement across all regions.

Website traffic rose +52% in Europe, +60% in Asia, +45% in North America and +106% in South America.

Social following growth rate 4x faster than Boeing, 8x faster than Airbus.

214.7% increase in social engagements.

5x growth in engagement over largest player, Airbus.

Total engagement volumes +59% higher than Airbus and +64% higher than Boeing, despite these brands having circa 4x the number of followers.

272 aircraft on firm order as at March 2021, +$10bn in order value.

This project was a winner at The Drum Awards for Digital Industries 2021. Find out which of The Drum Awards are currently open for entry.

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