written by: Leung Lok Lam, Tracy

It’s another day of the week, having to wake up at 6:30am to get to work. Ever feeling tired with the boring daily routine, hoping to escape from it? A French airline, Transavia, recently partnered with Uber to create the “UberESCAPE” campaign to provide people with last minute flights flying out from three cities, Paris, Nantes and Lyon. Every morning from 13 March to 17 March, Uber users will have access to a special button named UberESCAPE. This will allow them to select a flight for the day’s selected destination, such as Amsterdam and Vienna. The best thing is that a round-trip ticket with returning flight 48 hours later is included in the cost of the Uber trip, set at a fixed price of €70. Whats more, users’ Uber account will be credited €100, allowing them a free and safe Uber ride back home after the trip.

The advertisement presents Transavia through storytelling – a typical young adult robotically wakes up at 6:15am every day, makes coffee, takes a bath, and goes to work, with a pair of sleepy and lifeless eyes. With UberESCAPE, he can instantly book a flight to exotic destinations and goes to the airport by Uber. As the ad says, “getting away has never been so easy”.

The campaign successfully builds a new brand image for Transavia. UberESCAPE connects Transavia with a new target audience – young adults bored at work and love to travel, through resonance. As young adults are often to be more rebellious and seek excitement in life, this campaign positions Transavia as the airline for simple escape from work, which aligns with the target audience’s aspirations. The campaign differentiates Transavia from other low-cost airlines. While subtly maintaining price leadership as the competitive edge, adds vivid character to the brand who understands and cater for consumers’ needs. By flaunting the ease of departure in unconventional ways, the campaign clearly induces behavior and enhances brand awareness.

Added bonus to the promotion
First, Transavia offer to shortlist a recommended choice of hotels to customers and help with their bookings where necessary. Second, Transavia will arrange Uber rides between hotel and airport. Overall consumer experience is greatly enhanced, and reinforcing the campaign’s core message of providing people a simple escape.

Partnership with Uber has both its benefits and risks
On the pros side, Transavia get to associate with a well-known and established company, which makes it the top of mind travel brand when it comes to providing easily accessible yet comprehensive travel services. On the cons side, it carries the risk of partnering with a controversial company under fire.

In January 2017, #DeleteUber becomes a high profile public sentiment on Twitter. The incident is triggered by Uber’s tweeted that it will not impose surcharge near John F Kennedy International Airport. The action is a break-away from the New York Taxi Workers Alliance’s strike to protest President Trump’s travel ban on Muslim-majority countries. This happened just two months before the partnership between Transavia and Uber. It is a risk for Transavia to bear with the decision to collaborate with a brand facing a recent condemnation.