SAS has been an important element in Scandinavian identity and infrastructure for many decades. The air transport industry has suffered for years under intense competition, and SAS needed to show people that the firm really does care about their daily lives. We found the perfect setting for an activity and a campaign that would show precisely that.
The People’s Meeting (Folkemødet) is held every year on Bornholm. The cornerstone of the whole event is that democracy is for everyone. In recent years, however, it has become more like a party for the political élite, and not the democratic people’s festival it was originally intended to be. We saw the meeting as a chance for SAS to bring back the ordinary people and show that SAS was really there for them.
SAS took a plane out of its scheduled route and flew it to the festival with a cross section of the Danish population, not only showing that SAS is the people’s airline, but also paying tribute to democracy. We set up a Facebook campaign in the weeks before the meeting, in which there was a draw each day for specific target groups: well-educated young singles, pairs of friends over the age of 60, unskilled workers aged between 20 and 30 and so on. We aimed for all Danes to feel they were represented, so that the plane was Danish society on a miniature scale.
To ensure that we had a good starting point for a democratic debate on board, we designed a special website for registration, and asked those who met the requirements for registration to give reasons why they specifically should have a seat on the plane.
There were 130 free seats, and more than a thousand enthusiastic Danes applied for them. At a height of 10,000 metres, where they could literally see their lives as democratic beings from a distance, the speeches and discussions were an inspiration.
Of course, the debate continued on the ground at the meeting too.
The campaign generated a lot of press coverage and a flurry on the social media. Visits to the SAS website, Scandinavian Traveler, went up by 200% during the campaign, and the average time spent on the campaign website was more than three minutes! On Facebook the campaign reached out to 535,040 people.
The journey did not end there, however. On the flight home, all the passengers were asked to write down their thoughts about the event and about democracy. The ideas were folded into paper aeroplanes and presented to the President and CEO of SAS as a tribute to the people and free thought!