How can one get a share of spotlight from their most-fierce competitor, especially when it is crossing 100 years? Wish them from the heart. Airbus, has accomplished exactly the same with its congratulatory message to Boeing, wishing the latter for stepping into its Centennial year.
The plan had started early in the year when Airbus noticed that 2016 would be Boeing’s 100th year says Clay McConnell, head of communications, Airbus Group Inc., who spearheaded the campaign. “This was a milestone we could not ignore. But instead of making a straightforward message, we played on the existing competitive tension between the companies for added effect. It kind of portrayed how Airbus functioned as a organisation— good natured, competitive with a dash of humour,” he says.
However, this didn’t mean that their professional rivalry was on the backburner. Airbus didn’t lose out on the opportunity to showcase their work and most of their shoots were scheduled at product locations. “We wanted to showcase our work as well as our culture. So we decided that our products will be in the background; to show the cool stuff we have been working on without coming across as self-centered,” explains McConnell.
Shot by the in-house team, the video took around a month and half to produce from ideation to the final cut, says Laurent Fradin, head of digital communication, Airbus Group Inc. whose team was behind the production of the video. “Once, we put the idea out, we didn’t have any trouble in getting people to contribute. We easily got the diversity we were looking for both in terms of products and people,” he says.
Ask if the idea was inspired from the famous Burger King- McDonalds interaction, McConnell laughs saying that he had no inkling of the exchange. “It was only after the video was out and someone had made the reference that I came to know of the incident,” he says. The video has already clocked 200,000+ views on YouTube and was promoted majorly through social media.