Air NZ uses blogs to support China entry

Air NZ begins a direct service to china this month, running three 777’s to Shanghai and (hopefully) back a week. No surprises there – we’ve all known for some time that China is an emerging economic powerhouse and there are big bucks to be made if you can get in.

The surprise for me is Air NZ’s approach to supporting their market entry – blogging. They’ve hired a bunch of famous and influential Chinese to visit NZ and blog about their experiences

The idea is for the well-known travellers to file blogs about their experiences and spread the word about New Zealand and its national carrier to young and rich Chinese

This makes so much sense I was just about floored when I heard. Air NZ is 80% owned by the government – surely they should be pissing their advertising budget away on billboards, TV commercials, and other costly and pointless schemes?

The logic they’ve followed is definitely sound, and rings true with a lot of the great Web 2.0 campaigns we’ve seen of late:

…have taken a very innovative … approach in Shanghai because we just simply do not have the money to do advertising such as television and print on a grand scale…

…need to take a very focused approach in this market because it is so huge…

Credit where credit’s due – this is really innovative and is going to do wonders for Air NZ. Well done.

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