We Are an Airline: DDB & Tribal Amsterdam for KLM

What is KLM? Now thanks to Ed van Bennekom from DDB & Tribal Amsterdam, the Germans know!


What was the original brief for this campaign?
Even though KLM originates from a neighbouring country and operates in the German market for almost 100 years, brand awareness is very low. When asked ‘What is KLM?’, just a fraction more than half of the German population knows it is an airline (source: G&J Reiseanalyse Feb 2017).
46% of Germans do not know the right answer to the question, so KLM Germany asked us to raise awareness of the fact that KLM are the Royal Dutch Airlines.
Tell us about your role in the creation of this work.
Concept and creative direction of the campaign, and supervising the production of the events.
What inspired you to approach the campaign this way?
We knew that many people (also outside Germany) think KLM is something else than an airline.
We think that is because KLM doesn’t have a hint to aviation in its name. Like British Airways or German Wings.
After doing research, both online and on the streets, our insight was confirmed.
People think KLM is a bank, a restaurant or a radio station.
How difficult was it to sell the idea to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines?
Well, not that difficult. Our client instantly loved the idea.
So big up for them for believing in this.
What was the biggest challenge you faced during the process?
You don’t open a restaurant or start a radio station every day.
Finding the right location for the restaurant was one the biggest challenges.
But eventually we found the perfect spot. When we were decorating the location, people were already curious about the new place.
What did you learn from the experience?
That creating a radio programme or designing the interior of a restaurant is also a lot of fun.
What’s a “behind the scenes” story that only you know about?
The song ‘We are an airline’, which we created for the radio programme, got a big response after we aired it on the radio.
That’s why we decided to put it on Spotify. We had a big laugh when we made it together with Massive Music.