Firefly Airlines eyes new consumers with cheeky ‘Dump your ex’ campaign

Firefly Airlines is attempting to grab the attention of travellers with its cheeky “Dump your ex” campaign which targets new consumers. The campaign encourages travellers to “get into a long term relationship” with Firefly by moving away from other airlines and fly with it instead.

As part of the campaign, the airline is offering a guaranteed 50% discount for their return flight ticket. “Don’t spend your time and money on something that doesn’t really benefit you. Go for quality service and never settle for less,” Firefly said in its latest Facebook post. Netizens reactions online has remained fairly positive, with many commenting that it was a good idea by Firefly.

Izra Izzuddin, the airline’s marketing and communications vice president, told A+M that the in-house campaign will run online, on social media as well as other digital channels such as EDM.

She believes that differentiation is key in any competitive business or industry and every brand needs to stand out by creating buzz and noise. As such, she ensures that Firefly has one or two “crazy campaigns” annually on top of its ongoing initiatives. According to her, its main target audience are consumers aged 25 to 35 years old who are young, vibrant and energetic, and appreciate something “catchy, crazy, current and relevant”.

Izra said her team came up with this cheeky idea over the weekend, finalised the mechanisms and rolled out the entire campaign within a few days.

“Brand recall is key for any business because a brand needs to be something that customers remember before they sleep and the moment they wake up. Firefly is confident that this campaign will act as the main highlight for its target audience to recall for this year because of the word ‘Ex. An ‘ex’, this alone creates controversial stuff, even in daily relationships,” she said. Izra added:

This is a unique campaign that cannot be done repetitively. Such a campaign just needs to happen once. That once will make people talk and remember about the brand.

While the campaign’s main intention is to target new customers, it also hopes to change the perception that it is not just a corporate airline for business executives. According to her, she said the campaign sparked online conversations about ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends rather than airlines.

“It doesn’t have to be about the business itself, so long as people talk about it when you give them an interesting topic. At the end of the day, it is the campaign that they will remember,” Izra said.

A subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, Firefly travels to destinations such as Langkawi, Subang, Terengganu, Penang and Johor Bahru. Last year, Malaysia witnessed an 11.4% increase in domestic tourism expenditure, bringing in a total of RM92,561 million compared to RM83,103 million recorded in the previous year.

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, the country also saw a higher record in number of visitor arrivals. Domestic visitors grew by 7.7% to a total of 221.3 million. In terms of the volume of total tourism trips, domestic visitors undertook 302.4 million trips within the country. Selangor was the most visited state by domestic visitors in 2018, accounting for 30.2 million visitors, followed by Sabah (20.4 million), Sarawak (19.4 million), W.P. Kuala Lumpur (19.2 million) and Pahang (18.1 million).

In 2016, the airline caused online furore “Hey B*#%H. I’m Here!” campaign which was deemed “misogynistic” and “degrading”. The ad was done to promote Firefly’s new beach vacation deals but the ad was labelled as “a cheap brazen and low brow stunt”. Firefly later clarified that “b*#%h” in the ad referred to “beach” and that it meant no harm.