Wunderman Thompson South Asia has won the creative mandate for AirAsia after a closely contested multi-agency pitch in 2019. The agency will help support “brand strategy and shape the communications narrative in India for the world’s best low-cost airline taking care of above the line (ATL) and digital creative mandates”.

Siddhartha Butalia, CMO, AirAsia India

Referring to the airline’s decision to appoint Wunderman Thompson as their creative agency, Siddhartha Butalia, Chief Marketing Officer, AirAsia India, said, “It’s a pleasure to have Wunderman Thompson on board at this pivotal juncture. As a distinctive brand with a differentiated proposition in a category fraught with commoditization, AirAsia is well poised to make the most of the phenomenal potential in the sector.”

“Strong strategic insights” held the key to Wonderman’s proposition, Butalia, who had last year won the ‘Iconic Marketing of an Airline in India’ award at the Mid-day Travel and Hospitality Icons 2019, added. “Wunderman Thompson approached the opportunity with strong strategic insights and compelling creative ideas that bring the emotion and inspiration back to travel. We’re looking forward to partnering with them to drive consideration and relevance across the customer journey, take off to even greater heights and explore new territories.”

Speaking about the win, Kundan Joshee, Senior Vice-President and Managing Partner, Wunderman Thompson, Bengaluru, said, “AirAsia has a unique value proposition and a distinct challenger brand spirit that makes it such a powerful brand. With the airline and travel industry all set for rejig, there couldn’t be a better time to leverage the strengths of the brand. Our job is to partner with AirAsia and bring alive its philosophy of service, efficiency and innovation. In today’s times it’s essential for a brand to have multiple conversations with people across touchpoints and this gives us the opportunity to do new age work and drive interesting conversations around the brand.”

Priya Shivakumar, National Creative Director, Wunderman Thompson, Bengaluru, added, “The aviation industry is at the cusp of reinventing itself. Communication can play a big role in creating the first among equals advantage for a brand and we are eager to partner AirAsia in a take-off that builds on its impressive lineage. It is a huge opportunity to push the envelope on ideas in a category that is as exciting as it is challenging.”

The airline plans to “drive salience across markets with customised content and clutter-breaking communication that inspires diverse audiences with their brand promise and aspirational journey ahead”.

 A joint venture between Tata Sons Private Limited, with 51 percent stake, and AirAsia Investment Limited, AirAsia India launched its operations on 12 June 2014 with Bengaluru as its primary hub. As of September 2019, AirAsia flies twenty two A320 aircraft to 20 destinations. Now in its fourth year of operations, AirAsia (India) plans to connect more Tier II and Tier III cities with a longer-term view of flying internationally.

AirAsia was co-founded in 2001 by Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, who is non-independent Executive Chairman of the airline, and Tony Fernandes, one of the most well-known entrepreneurs of the Asia Pacific region. Fernandes is Group CEO. The two entrepreneurs came together to acquire struggling domestic Malaysian airline AirAsia and relaunched it as a pioneer of budget travel in Asia.