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An inside look at Kin’s ‘Faces of Travel’ campaign for Delta Air Lines

June 14, 2023 | 5 min read

The campaign won in the Travel & Tourism category at The Drum Awards for Marketing Americas 2023.


Credit: Kin

Delta Air Lines and Kin sought to showcase the experiences of a wide diversity of travelers.

The Brief

Delta’s purpose is to connect the world: to bring us closer, so that we might discover more of what we have in common. But the travel industry’s communication methods have excluded the experiences and perspectives of some travelers.

Kin joined forces to help Delta embody its commitment and develop its DEI strategy, bringing it to life through meaningful brand actions and creative communication to drive specific brand metrics.

Its research found that two in three Black Americans don’t feel properly represented in the media (NRG 2020). Two-thirds of LGBTQ+ Americans, furthermore, believe their representation in media is “greatly lacking” (Ipsos 2021), while 62% of consumers aged 50+ agreed with the statement: “I wish ads had more realistic images of people my age” (American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) survey 2021).

It was crucial to address this very obvious lack of representation in travel imagery and help Delta set a new precedent within the industry.

The Idea

To that end, the agency developed a visual library showing travelers of diverse races, ages, gender identities, religious beliefs and physical abilities. The collection was shot entirely for this purpose and made broadly available free of charge through an exclusive partnership with Adobe Stock.

Everything about the project was geared towards crafting counter-stereotypical narratives and capturing authentic experiences among a broad diversity of travelers. In order to maximize that authenticity, Kin did very little work in post-production to alter the visuals captured during its shoots.

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It was essential to the creative concept that it found real people of diverse backgrounds to feature in the project. It cast locally in Mexico City and Amsterdam to find its talent and ensured that their backgrounds and lived experiences aligned well with the intention of the campaign. Viola Davis, the long-standing voice of Delta Air Lines, provided an inspiring voiceover for the anthem film.

The Results

The campaign launched in September 2022. According to Kantar, the anthem spot performed in the top 5% of US TV ads, leading to a big lift on brand metrics – including “brand I love” (+9.5%) and “brand that shares my values” (+11.7%) – in just two months. The campaign received coverage in Yahoo!, NBC, Essence, Travel Noire, The Root, MUSE and AdAge.

Faces of Travel is an important step in creating a world where everyone feels welcomed. The agency is developing the next iteration to launch in spring 2023.

This campaign won at The Drum Awards for Marketing Americas 2023. Find out more about The Drum’s Global Awards program or head to our case studies hub to read more award-winning stories.

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