Aeroplan’s passion play

The brand's first repositioning in five years taps into travellers' passion for unique travel experiences.

Considering that the average household participates in nine different reward programs, recent consumer research from Aeroplan should come as no surprise: Canadians are feeling overwhelmed by all the loyalty cards in their wallets.

‘They feel there are too many programs [and] they don’t really understand what makes them different from one another,’ says David Klein, VP, marketing, Aeroplan.

This market research, conducted by the brand last fall, provided the foundation for its new brand positioning platform. Launched April 9 with the new tagline ‘Welcome to the club’ and a campaign by Cossette Montreal (which took over Aeroplan‘s creative, media and digital accounts last fall), the platform focuses on what members have in common: a passion for travel.

But as Klein notes, it isn’t the travel itself that resonates with members as much as the experiences they have while they’re away.

‘It’s not about going to the Bahamas, it’s about going scuba diving when you’re in the Bahamas,’ he says. ‘At the root of the positioning is really that notion of exploring your passions.’

For instance, if a member wants to visit Las Vegas, they can redeem their miles to fly there, but they can also use them to pay for a helicopter tour of the city, Klein says. One creative execution plays on this notion, showing a helicopter’s view of the city at night with the line ‘Our members get to see Vegas from a different angle.’

While Aeroplan’s merchandise rewards are also touted in the new creative, travel remains the anchor. ‘The obvious example is ‘I’m redeeming a digital camera today because I’m planning to travel to Africa tomorrow and I want to take great pictures,” Klein says.

The airport environment is a main focus for the new brand campaign, which launched with in-airport OOH as well as print, digital, social media and direct.

Klein says the new creative is an evolution of Aeroplan’s 2010 campaign, which saw the company return to mass communications for the first time in several years.

Led by the message ‘We put more people in more reward seats than any other Canadian reward program,’ last year’s campaign focused on the program’s tangible strengths, such as the convenience of being able to redeem points up to two hours before a flight.

‘Last year was about reaching people’s minds,’ Klein says. ‘This year is really about reaching people’s hearts.’