How Turkish Airlines reached 100m potential customers with selfies

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In a wildly popular commercial for Turkish Airlines, two of sports" greatest stars-Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi-vie for the attention of one starstruck kid. Following on its success, the company created a new YouTube ad called "Kobe vs. Messi: The Selfie Shootout" to continue increasing brand awareness in Europe, North America, the Middle East and the Far East. The spot was another huge success: It became one of the fastest spreading commercials on YouTube, with 77 million views in just one week, and was one of the most popular ads of 2013.

Case study summary

• Sporting giants Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi used to promote YouTube ‘Selfie Shootout’ video

• Custom YouTube channel introduced the campaign in an interactive way

• The campaign reached 77 million views in one week, making it YouTube’s fastest spreading commercial

The challenge

Turkish Airlines’ wanted to increase its brand awareness around the world. The company wanted to reach a new target audience: spirited, adventurous people with wanderlust. To keep momentum, the brand was also keen to test the campaign’s effectiveness by measuring brand recall for Turkish Airlines’ ads.

The solution

The firm decided to craft a playful marketing campaign around one of 2013's most searched words: Selfie. Working with Google, it created a custom channel to introduce the campaign and demonstrate the company's spirit in an interactive way.

The brand aimed to leverage YouTube’s advertising tools to reach a wider global audience.
The Selfie Shootout saw Messi and Bryant trying to take the most impressive selfie. Messi poses in front of Moscow's St. Basil's Cathedral and with a monkey in Thailand, only to have Bryant answer with a photo of him in Africa getting licked by a lion.

The noticeable difference between this campaign and its predecessor is that the action has moved from inside the cabin to the places in the world that Turkish Airlines flies.

The results

The spot was another huge success. The campaign reached 77 million views in one week, making it YouTube’s fastest spreading commercial. Multiplied the YouTube brand searches 3x and achieved a 16% increase in Google global brand searches. In addition, the ads achieved a 9% increase in global brand recall

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