JAL VP of global marketing on 3,000 creative assets: 'We require a slightly different approach'

Adaptive content is key to capturing audience attention and ultimately securing conversion. Knowing this Japan Airlines (JAL) worked with its agency Ogilvy to launch 3,000 unique creatives assets for its six-month long campaign.

Marrying hyper-personalisation and precision marketing, the airline soared towards leveraging audiences’ emotions and maximising the likelihood of purchase altogether with its creative execution. Speaking to Marketing, JAL's VP of global marketing, Akira Mitsumasu said "like a painter preparing the mixture of colours before painting", the concept of creating 3,000 unique assets came naturally as part of the airline’s content marketing process. “We want to make sure that we have the repertoire of creative assets we need, to make our painting convey effectively, we intended for it to be  portrayed through dynamic personalisation,” he added.

Mitsumasu was quick to add that for the airline, developing a content marketing strategy does however come with a set of considerations. “How can I for example, walk into a group of people at a reception party, join in the conversation and make it more lively, enjoyable and memorable, so that by the end of the evening my new acquaintances and I feel as though we have known each other for years," this is a key question he tries to answer and believes the answer lies in performing multiple tasks concurrently.

Key considerations for him include sensing what topics spark interest, making sure that everyone in the group is engaged in the conversation, bringing in interesting perspectives and novel insight, being careful when claiming to own a right or space on a certain topic, remaining honest and authentic, just to name a few. He added that at the end of the day, the must haves in any effective content marketing strategy are relevance in message, style, visual and audio attractiveness, and user consumption which ultimately lead to memorability. Mitsumasu will also be speaking at Marketing’s Content 360 conference on creating a dynamic engagement platform with smart content, and an insight to some tips and tricks up his sleeves.

Mitsumasu who has over 30 years of experience in the aviation industry, and has held multiple leadership roles within the Japanese airline company added that a challenge that aviation brands have specifically when it comes to content marketing is the vast demographic it reaches out to. Unlike a fashion brand trying to match its brand personality to that of its core segment, he explained that being a public transport airline serving a variety of customer segments across different geographic regions around the world, requires the brand to have multiple target markets.

"We require a slightly different approach. One way of looking at it is to say that our target markets are the ones in which we can compete effectively in, and have the right to win. This takes into account things such as flight schedule, operation efficiency, changes in capacity and demand conditions," he added. 

Marketing: How do you see your brand standing out in the cluttered space?

Mitsumasu: To be honest, we still have a lot to work on in this area, but I think the JAL brand is unique in that being a brand that represents Japanese hospitality, it offers something essentially exquisite but at the same time a little reserved and subtle. It is like saying, "I dare not be so rude as to suggest that I know exactly what is perfect for you. Rather, I will simply offer my very best, and ask you the connoisseur to complete and perfect it." We'd like enjoying the beauty of nature - imperfect hence perfect.

Marketing: How can content help you stand out in a price-driven economy?

Mitsumasu: I think many consumers who are price conscious are not necessarily price driven, but are in fact willing to pay a premium if they see value in doing so. Hence communicating effectively what that value is through content marketing is very important.

For example, instead of saying that we were awarded the best economy class by Skytrax, which may not mean much to a traveller, it would be more relevant to say that we care about customer wellbeing and comfort, and that was why we have decided to create the most comfortable seat even on economy class. And as a result we were recognised as providing the best economy class seat and best economy class service.  

Marketing: New trends that excite you in the space of content and advertising? 

Mitsumasu: The smart use of technology such as AI, VR/AR  and neuroscience tools is certainly exciting. I think we are at the advent of this new era of technology enhanced paradigm shift, where new combination of capabilities and collaborations, decentralisation and democratisation of previously institutionalised activities, will take content marketing to a further advanced stage.

Hear more from him at Marketing’s Content 360 conference happening in May 2020. 

[MARKETING is delighted to bring back Content 360 for another year following a hugely successful conference in 2019. Content 360 will bring together industry leaders to discuss challenges and share insights on future content marketing trends, as well as successful strategies to help tackle the complex marketing landscape. Sign up here!]