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Hop! Air France / Running to Mum

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world

Airline arms parents with shoes to convince their young adults to visit

Hop! Air France is using trendy sneakers to help parents lure their grown children home.

To promote its Youth Pass loyalty card, which offers discounts to travellers aged 12 to 24, Air France’s regional airline has partnered with Adidas and streetwear retailer Citadium. Its loyalty card normally costs €49 ($52), but HOP! Air France is encouraging parents to buy the new 2017 Adidas EQT Support ADV sneakers for their kids who live in a different city and get the card for free. The catch to this Run to Mum promotion is that HOP! will only send one shoe to the young person. To reclaim the other sneaker in the pair, he or she needs to fly home to mum and dad, which they can then do at a discount because the shoe box also contains a HOP! Youth Pass.

The campaign, created by agency Les Gaulois in Paris, is running from 26 to 28 January at Citadium’s store in Caumartin. Parents can also buy the Adidas shoes, which retail from €119.95 ($128), on the Run to Mum microsite until 7 February. In total, HOP! has up to 300 Youth Pass cards to give away.

Les Gaulois is promoting the campaign via an online video that emphasises how parents must face an empty nest after enjoying family time with their children during the holiday period. Young Adidas fans visiting the campaign microsite can also drop hints to their parents about which sneakers they would prefer by emailing them or sharing the details with the Facebook message ‘Mum, I miss you. Make me run home.’


Contagious Insight / 

Weaponising parents / HOP! Air France’s target group for its Youth Pass is obviously young people, but instead of reaching out to them directly, the airline decided to use their parents instead, a smart strategy that Contagious has detailed in our Weaponise Your Audience trend.

In fact, this campaign brings to mind another campaign that uses this strategy. In Australian train operator V-Line’s Guilt Trips campaign parents purchased a train ticket home for their kids, packaged up in a humorous yet guilt-inducing way. That effort led to millions of dollars of increased revenue for V-Line.

There’s a similar insight at play in HOP!’s campaign, which is as the Australian agency told us ‘Guilt from a mother is one of the most powerful forces on earth.’ But HOP! has gone one further by coupling guilt with lust-worthy sneakers, or rather sneaker. While the airline is drumming home the message that mum and dad really, really want you to come home, it’s also dangling a juicy prize in front of you to make sure you do so. This also shows how an unusual partnership, in this case an airline teaming up with a footwear brand and trendy retailer, can elevate a campaign to a whole new level.

Playful PR / As with the Guilt Trips campaign, the tongue-in-cheek tone of HOP!’s promotion is what makes it stand out. It’s this humour that balances out the guilty message but most importantly makes Run to Mum shareable and PR-worthy. It’s a campaign that fun and unusual enough to get people talking. That’s especially important considering that HOP!’s mission is to raise awareness about its Youth Pass. So while not every young person in France will be able to get their hands on the new Adidas kicks and the free Youth Pass, the airline is betting that lots of people will at least hear about its campaign.

Top timing / The timing of this campaign also feels strategic here. For mum and dad it hits home right when they’re missing Junior most, during the post-Christmas period.



This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world. I/O helps anyone in the world of marketing understand why brands are innovating, how they're doing it and with what success.

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