News & Views

S7 Airlines / In a world of pure imagination

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our customisable research platform featuring the world’s most innovative, creative and effective ad campaigns and marketing ideas

Russian airline creates imagination-fuelled holiday selection tool

S7 Airlines has created a campaign based on the power of imagination.

To promote its 900 destinations, the airline worked with Wieden+Kennedy, Amsterdam, to create an integrated campaign, Fly to any place you can imagine, which frames its locations as magical realms dreamed-up by children.

In a three-minute online film (above), 20 kids are asked the question ‘Let’s say you can go to any place you can imagine. What would this world look like?’ Their answers range from ‘chocolate lakes’ to ‘a secret world where people live underground’. The film ends with the reveal that these imaginary locations are reminiscent of real destinations that the airline flies to across the globe.

An online discovery tool encourages visitors to embrace their inner child and find their own dream destination. On the site, users see a view of the sky, where they can digitally pin a message describing a place they imagine visiting. The site then serves up a real suggestion from the S7 route map. For instance if someone writes that they’re looking to go somewhere that is already ‘in the 22nd century’, the site suggests Singapore as an ideal destination. Users can then directly book tickets to their dream location, or explore other people’s ideas on the interactive site.

Snippets of the web film are airing on TV, and the campaign is supported by print, out of home, radio, online pre-rolls, digital and social activity.


Contagious Insight /

Bringing back the magic / This campaign lends the S7 brand a sense of discovery and wonder, reminding people that travelling to far-flung locations in aluminium box is a pretty magical experience. It’s a technique that has been used before by British Airways in its Cannes Lions Grand Prix-winning campaign, the Magic of Flying.

We interviewed Jon Andrews, creative technology director at Ogilvy, London, who created the Magic of Flying. He said: ‘I [wanted] to try to make that experience magical, to remind people of the golden age of flying… I realised, in my garden, that whenever kids see a plane, they stop what they’re doing and point up at them. In their minds, flying is magic because they don’t quite understand; an aeroplane may as well be a dragon to them.’

In our Insight and Strategy interview, he explained that the brief was to draw attention to BA’s routes helping to (literally) point them out. S7 is trying to accomplish largely the same objective, also capitalising on that same sense of magic.

Escaping a cliché / The campaign uses an interesting inspiration mechanism, getting away from the typical holiday fantasies of tropical beaches and endless blue seas, to show destinations that are more unusual. The striking imagery is bound to earn the brand some cut-through in a category filled with generic imagery of dolled up air hostesses and fully reclining seats.

Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Creative Directors, Szymon Rose and Daniel Schaefer, said: ‘[It’s] easy to forget how incredible and mind-blowing our world is… The goal of the campaign was to encourage Russian travellers to dream big and remind them that there’s a whole world out there. By utilising the limitless imaginations of children we are able to take people on a journey to see our planet in a whole new way.’

Fly with us / While our experience of the site itself was a little clunky, the campaign might just plant the seed of an adventure in the consumer’s mind and remind them that S7 can help get them to their dream destination.



This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O. Contagious I/O is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious I/O contact