Etihad spreads wings in print with Kidman campaign

Etihad spreads wings in print with Kidman campaignA still from the Etihad campaign featuring Nicole Kidman.

Etihad Airways has launched a new global brand campaign this week starring actress Nicole Kidman in a role which has seen her featured in major newspapers across Australia.

The campaign, created by M&C Saatchi Sydney and booked by Mediacom, appears in print, digital and outdoor channels as well as TV and social media in 30 and 60 second video slots, and was launched in Abhu Dhabi on Sunday.

Shot on the airline’s flagship Airbus A380 and locations around the world, including Abhu Dhabi, the ads have appeared in publications including The Australian, the Daily Telegraph and The Sydney Morning Herald.

In a double page spread inside The Australian on Tuesday, Kidman reclines across the expanse of a double bed in the bedroom of the three-room The Residence by Etihad – a private living space on board the plane and the only one of its kind in commercial aviation.

In three other parts of the print ad series she relaxes on plush seating. The series of print pieces are united by the copy, “Why just improve on what’s been done before, when you can totally reimagine it.”

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British cinematographer Daniel Landin, who has shot short films and music videos for the likes of Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Madonna as well as TV and cinema commercials for leading global luxury brands around the world, was the director of photography on the campaign.

The product itself was inspiration enough for M&C Saatchi Australia’s founding creative director, Tom McFarlane.

“Who could not be inspired by the sheer elegance, style, and dare I say it, reimagining of this remarkable aircraft?” Mr McFarlane said. “Hopefully, all of which we have captured perfectly in this campaign.”

The campaign has already been deemed a success by Etihad Airways chief commercial officer Peter Baumgartner.

“[Etihad is] rewriting the rule book and reimagining flying by breaking away from convention and leading the way in innovation, design, style and hospitality. This new campaign has succeeded brilliantly in bringing our unique brand and service ethos to life on film, in print and on digital channels,” Mr Baumgartner said.

“Nicole Kidman, as a globally respected artist, was the perfect voice and face for our story, and embodies worldly sophistication, intelligence, originality, and elegance – values which form the foundations of the Etihad brand.”

Kidman3John Steedman, chairman of GroupM which owns Mediacom, has previously emphasised the power of print, particularly in categories such as travel, saying it is often undersold by agencies and provides a level of engagement which no other mass media vehicle can offer.

“Newspapers still play a very important part in brand building,” he told The Newspaper Works last year. “It’s a trusted medium and brands want to be associated with a trusted medium.”

“Also, newspapers such as The Australian and The Australian Financial Review attract high income earners and they’re one of very few mediums that’s able to talk to that audience unlike other media vehicles that are available.

“Print plays a very important part in terms of path to purchase, particularly in the retail, car industry and travel, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s still going to remain a very viable medium into the future.”

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