Fly Responsibly

Alcohol brands have always done ‘Drink Responsibly’ campaigns. Despite the fact that it flies against the consumption of those products. Their aim is to maximize consumption, but they know that it should not be at the detriment of the user.

A most recent example of one such campaign I had shared recently.

Telecom networks have done ‘Use phones when needed. Spend time with the people that matter’ campaigns. They have also done campaigns where they have asked their users to not use the network while driving. Telcos’ aim is also to maximize usage, but they don’t want it done at the detriment of the user. That’s killing the golden goose 🙂

One of my favorite examples of a telecom network espousing lesser use of its own network!

It’s a pity soft drink brands like Coke and Pepsi, or chocolate/candy brands haven’t taken this route, asking their users to consume them lesser, and with care, given the long-term impact. But that’s perhaps the key – long-term impact is not immediately visible, like an accident caused through drunk driving, or an upset family member because you spent too much time on the internet.

But here’s an airline brand saying the unthinkable!

KLM is asking you to fly responsibly, given the ecological impact of the aviation industry! They even have ‘take the trains instead’ in the video! There’s no immediate impact, but yet, the brand is taking that stand! Kudos!

And it’s not just about their own brand – they are the first commercial airline in the world to invite all travellers and the aviation industry to join forces in making the world aware of our shared responsibility!

The smaller nuances, no doubt conceived by the agency DDB Unlimited (Netherlands), like not using an actual flight to make the film, are great too!

KLM is celebrating 100 years of its existence and this is perhaps the perfect time to talk about an issue that affects their industry on a larger level, into the future.

Plus, there is a growing movement in Europe called ‘flygskam’ (meaning flight shame, in Swedish) that started in Sweden that encourages people to stop taking flights to lower carbon emissions. The idea was kickstarted by Olympic athlete Bjorn Ferry and gained traction after teenage activist Greta Thunberg’s mother, the opera singer Malena Ernman, publicly announced she would stop flying.

The KLM campaign is extremely well thought-through. It starts with a letter by KLM’s CEO and President Pieter Elbers that starts with an alarming fact: “aviation industry accounts for 2 to 3 percent of the man-made CO2 emissions in the world”!

And then there’s the video and a dedicated website that talks about 3 perspectives – what KLM is doing about it, what we can all do as travellers and what the industry can do together!

Now, if only products with excessive sugar in them think like this and exhort people to consume them thoughtfully and not kill the golden goose!