Customer satisfaction with airlines was at an all-time low in 2017, and customers took to social media to criticize the industry’s lack of efficiency and innovation in light of several high-profile scandals.
Even before these news cycles, Airbus’s skunkworks in Silicon Valley, A3, started working on a new modular aircraft, Transpose, that would enable cabins in commercial flight that could offer kid’s play areas, nap pods and work cafes at a premium economy price.
The team communicated the project’s value and viability by combining targeted media relations across travel and aviation trades as well as technology and business media, a robust blog and social program, and engaging project executive Jason Chua in key speaking events. The team also worked on a working prototype in the San Jose Airport with sister agency UEG, which gave passengers a look into a gym module with Peloton spin bikes and a Reebok stretching and strength area – this in-person installation not only drew media attention, but also served as a valuable resource for the Transpose team, who were researching what customers were willing to pay for customized experiences in the air. These learnings were then wrapped into a second, full-scale model in the Transpose headquarters, which were featured in the inaugural episode of The Verge’s Next Level with Lauren Goode, which had 2 million views on Facebook within a week. This opportunity also led to a Today Show segment with Rossen Reports.