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Campaign Spotlight: Real-time advertising reaches new heights with celebrity divorce gossip

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The not-so-secret reason Metro has a ‘Guilty Pleasures’ section in every edition is that we all enjoy scrutinizing the lives of celebrities. Time and time again, we hear news of break-ups, and make-ups, but the one to trump all the rest was the recent announcement of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s divorce. Even though we can no longer use the term ‘Brangelina’ in the present tense, advertisers can’t seem to let the dust settle on this bit of tittle-tattle without cashing in. While most of the marketing world is setting its focus on the emerging power of Snapchat and VR, Norwegian surprised us with a good old-fashioned no-frills print campaign.


Norwegian’s direction was modest. The airline worked with M&C Saatchi, Stockholm to create a minimal ad using the brand’s signature bright red background with white text which read, “Brad is Single”. The ad ran in the UK, Spain and Norway and was a textbook example of how simplicity can go a long way in real-time marketing. It can be argued that most real-time advertising does nothing to differentiate a brand from its competitors as it focuses on a current event and not the brand’s relationship to the event. Here, Norwegian looked at an event that resonated with its target audience and inserted itself into it while showcasing the brand’s out-of-the-box approach. The light-hearted ad catapulted Norwegian into everyday conversations people were already having while promoting one of its routes.



Aside from the print campaign, Norwegian also took to its social media channels to promote its low one-way fares. A tweet continued the brand’s use of humour with the text, “Actor. LA. Newly Single. Seeks likeminded partner with GSOH”. The witty tweet, reminiscent of detail-lacking dating profiles, would surely be enough to inspire even the most nervous flyer to check out Los Angeles.  While there were some negative comments about the timing of the ads, when taken as a tongue-in-cheek nod to current celebrity gossip the campaign was a surprise success.




Interestingly, last week another airline inadvertently commented on celebrity news by launching a campaign starring Pitt’s ex-wife. Call it a coincidence, but actress Jennifer Aniston returned to her role as brand ambassador for Emirates Airlines nearly a year after her last appearance in an Emirates ad. The 90-second ‘Jen’s Back’ ad by WPP’s Team Air sees Aniston return to her first-class seat after refreshing herself in the on-flight spa only to find a little boy, Cooper, playing with his model planes. Instead of kicking Cooper out, Aniston becomes his co-pilot and leads him back to economy where Cooper’s dad is speechless on seeing her. Aniston remains with the family to watch films even after the flight attendant asks if she would like to return to first class, a testament to how nice all Emirates seating is. The advert can only serve to heighten the brand’s visibility since Aniston is also enjoying a healthy presence in gossip magazines as fans liken the Brangelina situation to Pitt and Aniston’s very public divorce in 2005. Perfect timing.