How Air New Zealand uses crowdsourcing and social media for a new in-flight experience

Joanne FaithJoanne Faith of Social Media News NZ, recently posted an interesting example of yet another company, using social media and crowdsourcing to engage people in a creative way. Read more about the initiative in Joanne’s post below.

Social media and interactive web sites have opened up a direct line between businesses and consumers, and Air New Zealand is ready to take advantage of this opportunity.

Crowdsourcing is becoming more and more popular.

It’s based on the idea of involving people in contributing to a product or service
Air New Zealand campaign , a job that would have in the past been left to individuals or relatively small sized teams.
The concept is based on cultivating creativity and innovation from a wider pool of ideas, which is exactly what Air New Zealand is doing through the Aviation Design Academy.

The Aviation Design Academy seeks to put the finishing touching on the in-flight experience of the new 777-300 aircraft.
Air New Zealand is crowdsourcing to fulfill 4 briefs, the original cocktail, the in-flight snack, the eye mask and for those who aren’t too keen on the creative side of things the opportunity to be judged on their pitch of an idea, and pitch alone.

Online video as a finishing touch

The lucky winners have the opportunity for them and a friend to take a seat on the new 777-300 on a flight from Auckland to London in April 2011.

They’ll be able to experience the winning cocktail, snack and eye mask designs first hand along with the rest of the passengers.
What has been done exceptionally well is the preparation of a whole bunch of videos that explain, in an almost comic and very Kiwi way exactly what Air New Zealand is after.

They’re the finishing touch that ground the competition in reality. It’s just an airy fairy idea of what to do. The design aesthetic is pretty nice too.
The Aviation Design Academy is an effective crowdsourcing effort, perhaps most importantly for the fact that they are only sourcing ideas they have a use for.

This contrasts with My Starbucks Idea, which has been criticized for being made of empty promises, with very few innovations having come from customers themselves.

Aside from some minor technical difficulties, sometimes the site refuses to load for me, the only downside to Air New Zealand’s take on crowdsourcing is that it may leave some wondering why their creativity is restricted to merely a cocktail, snack or eye mask. Not a huge issue, in my opinion, it is better for a company to be honest about what they are seeking after all.

The competition itself demands a level of engagement for interested entrants, and generates even more exposure of Air New Zealand’s new online marketing initiatives.
Air New Zealand is doing an incredible job of building awareness and anticipation for the launch of the new 777-300 aircraft.

The true impact may only be felt once the aircraft is ready for launch, but at the rate Air New Zealand is going, I don’t think anyone will be too disappointed.

Post by Joanne Faith of Social Media News NZ. You can follow Joanne on Twitter or on her blog.

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