Qatar Airways takes a swipe at celebrity-filled airline ads as it seeks to make emotional connection

Qatar Airways has launched a new global brand campaign, only its second in 18 years, shunning celebrities in a bid to put its customers at the heart of the brand and broaden its appeal.

The airline’s new campaign and tagline, ‘Going Places Together’, aim to reflect its brand evolution as it moves away from product focused campaigns.

The television ad will feature on CNN, BBC Worldwide and CNBC, while the existing Sky News partnership, sponsoring the weather, will be updated with the new campaign and brand approach. There will also be outdoor activity at Heathrow Airport.

According to Salam Al Shawa, the brand’s SVP of marketing and corporate communications, the business recognised the direction its competitors were taking and was determined to take a different route.

“Others have produced commercials with Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Aniston, but we thought we would do something from the heart. We didn’t want to copy anyone else,” she told Marketing Week.

“This campaign is not about us. It used to be all talking about our service and our product. This campaign is about the passengers, not the celebrities.”

qatar airlines

Al Shawa hopes the campaign will lead to a more emotional connection with consumers and broaden the appeal of the brand.

“We want our passengers to be in love with us, not because we’re a five star airline, but because we understand their requirements. As a result, the word ‘together’ was key in our campaign,” she explained.

“We want to increase loyalty to the airline and make the brand more appealing to more people. If in three months’ time, one couple would change their mind and use us to go to new destinations, then the campaign in my opinion has achieved its objective.”

According to Al Shawa, the brand’s new strategy to connect with consumers on an emotional level will continue into 2016.

She concluded: “We will make use of our advertising campaign for quite some time. It’s a very rich theme, which will enable us to come up with different social media activations and other competitions.”

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