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SIA unveils new KrisFlyer mascot, gets public to join naming contest

Singapore Airlines has created a new KrisFlyer mascot and has chosen to unveil it on its Facebook page. The team at KrisFlyer has asked Facebook fans to take part in the naming contest.

According to the terms and conditions, the contest will be carried out on social media and is open to all KrisFlyer members who have submitted a qualifying entry. These members can be residents in Singapore and other 60 countries across the globe. Participants are required to submit a creative name for the KrisFlyer mascot and a brief explanation for the choice of the creative name. The winners of the contest will be named on the SIA Facebook page, and rewarded to 30,000 KrisFlyer miles.

In a statement to Marketing, a SIA spokesperson said this engagement campaign aims to drive awareness of the KrisFlyer programme and its benefits, which focuses on three value pillars, namely “Earn Easier, Redeem Faster, Travel Better”. The KrisFlyer brand campaign was created by TBWAGroup Singapore, while the animated video and mascot were produced by TBWA’s in-house production arm BOLT. The spokesperson added that the airline’s loyalty marketing team will be judging the submissions of this competition.

The post, which was posted yesterday, has garnered over 16,000 views at the time of writing. Several netizens have shown interest in naming the mascot relating to the airline, to its “golden” look and appearance, and tying names to popular Disney characters. Marketing has reached out to SIA for additional information on the use of the new KrisFlyer mascot.

The move is not a new one in the SIA family as budget carrier Scoot has often reached out to members of the public to name its aircrafts. In its early years of launch, the brand named its flights “Barry” and “Goin’ Scootin” following the public’s recommendation.

So could this be SIA taking a page out of its fun sister brand’s marketing handbook?

According to Prantik Mazumdar, managing partner at Happy Marketer, a Merkle Company, the naming contest is a marketing experiment that borrows heavily from Scoot’s “dynamic and vibrant” marketing playbook. He explained that SIA is leveraging crowd-sourced views to build its brand identity, while appealing to the younger frequent fliers who prefer leisure activities.

Mazumdar also quickly pointed out that the new mascot resembles Scoot’s iconic yellow shade. While it is still early to predict the success rate of this new marketing effort, Mazumdar said SIA is making attempts to incorporate the elements of its sub-brands (Tiger, Scoot and Silk Air). The airline also looks to keep the respective audiences from these carriers, especially the younger PMEBs, engaged through the KrisFlyer loyalty platform.

Meanwhile, Ryan Lim, principal consultant and founding partner of QED Consulting highlighted that with the introduction of a new mascot  the airline is “rebranding” to be of higher relevance to a wider audience. He added that traveller profiles have changed, as the younger generation are more “wanderlust”. The new tactic of a mascot and the naming contest targets a new generation of buyers. He added:

The new mascot softens the ‘premium and serious’ image of SIA.

Lim was however quick to clarify that appealing to the wider audience, will by no means impact the consumer base who deem SIA as “premium” as these group of individuals, possibly the affluent, have been loyal to SIA for its service, entertainment and competitiveness – which will remain regardless of how the mascot is named.

“The affluent group will always consider the end-to-end.  This new tactic is for a newer audience and it does not impact the affluent group as one mascot will not take away the premium-ness tied to the airline,” Lim said.

In recent times, SIA has also been bolstering its KrisFlyer benefits recently with new partnerships and technological advancements – including the integration of blockchain capabilities. The airline also enhanced its KrisPay app for KrisFlyer members, allowing members to earn KrisPay miles upon a purchase. These KrisPay miles can be converted to KrisFlyer miles within seven days of accrual.

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