AirAsia

Success Story

Taking off in Asia

A comprehensive Facebook marketing campaign helped win back customer confidence during a very difficult time for the Asian airline, and also broke Facebook’s global records for ad recall in the travel sector.
  • 17-point lift in ad recall
  • 58X return on ad spend using Lookalike Audiences
  • 30X return on ad spend using website Custom Audiences

Their Story

No-frills flying

AirAsia is an award-winning low-cost airline that flies to a range of destinations throughout Asia that other low-cost carriers don’t serve, such as Australia, India and the Middle East.

Their Goal

Traffic control

AirAsia wanted to prove that it is a people-driven brand and build customer loyalty. It also wanted to maximise conversions, reach its audience efficiently and achieve a return on ad spend of at least 5X.
Facebook has taken our ability to target the right audience to the next level, which is evident in the awareness, engagement and conversion results we are still seeing today. This, coupled with a client partner team that’s extremely tuned in, has provided us with the insight and support to ramp up our marketing efforts.
Aaron Philip Thomas, Group Digital Marketing Manager, AirAsia

Their Solution

Segmenting an audience

AirAsia used Facebook as a complete end-to-end marketing channel to help shift brand perception and drive sales. Because of the popularity of video content in Asia, the airline ran its first major branding campaign in early 2015 using short video stories to instill confidence in the brand.
To reach the right people efficiently, it split its audience into specific segments, and targeted each segment with customised creative and ad copy. For example, it targeted people who had bought an AirAsia ticket after the Indonesia plane incident in December, people who had not bought an AirAsia ticket since the incident, and high-value AirAsia advocates separately.
AirAsia used Facebook’s reach and frequency tool to control the number of times people saw the video ads over 4 weeks and measured brand metrics during its campaign with a Nielsen Brand Effect study.
The airline used its customer data and Facebook’s Custom Audiences tool to identify and target frequent fliers and people who had flown certain routes before. It showed each audience link ads containing different messages, which emphasised AirAsia’s reasonable rates and drove people directly to the website.
It also placed the Facebook pixel on its website to track how people behaved on the site. AirAsia used this data in 2 ways. First, it used website Custom Audiences to retarget people who searched for a particular route but didn't buy a ticket, showing them the cheapest available fare. This tactic helped the airline achieve the highest returns of the campaign.
Next, it created Custom Audiences of website visitors based on their purchase history. It then used Lookalike Audiences to find people on Facebook who resembled high-value customers and targeted them with ads that communicated AirAsia’s brand values or promoted selected destinations.
Adopting a bespoke targeting strategy for each audience and business objective helped AirAsia share more relevant content and maximise its return on ad spend.

Their Success

Up, up and away

Facebook helped AirAsia reach different audiences with tailored messages and achieve a marked improvement in sales and brand perception.
Its campaign achieved these stunning results:
  • 58X return on ad spend using Lookalike Audiences
  • 30X return on ad spend using website Custom Audiences
  • 20% of all video views came from the airline’s most highly valued audience (people who had not bought a ticket since the Indonesia incident)
  • Over 20% of video viewers watched 100% of the video on Facebook, compared to less than 10% on other advertising channels the brand used during the same campaign
  • 17-point lift in ad recall in Malaysia (Nielsen Brand Effect), higher than any other travel brand around the world
Facebook solved a crucial business challenge for AirAsia. Facebook ad placements, coupled with precise targeting solutions such as website Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences and optimal bidding, exceeded our return on ad spend goals and drove significant lift in our brand metrics. Facebook has become a core aspect of our digital strategy, allowing us to target the right people, at the right time with the right message.
Yen Teng, Group Digital Performance Marketing Manager, AirAsia