Abu- Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has been heaping the marketing dollars behind its new premium Airbus A380 service operating between several U.S. destinations and the Middle East. Last March, the airline enlisted the help of Australian actress Nicole Kidman to help showcase the product, launching a lavish media campaign (to the chagrin of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants) to cover the airline’s premium service. Now, the airline is stepping into the realm of virtual reality to further showcase the A380 experience.
Launched late last month, the “Etihad A380 Virtual Reality experience featuring Nicole Kidman” takes advantage of YouTube’s 360° video capabilities to embed a virtual reality experience directly into a web or mobile-based player. Viewers without VR headsets can simply click and drag the video through the desktop environment or rotate a mobile player to experience the full immersive video.
Set up as a hypothetical flight that Ms. Kidman might take, the experience opens up with the actress discussing a portion of an upcoming feature film with a colleague. Each portion of the film thereafter covers a portion of the A380 experience, from the economy to the business to the first class cabin, with highlights inside of the aircraft’s bar and within the Etihad Residence, a $32,000-per-flight suite that includes a full bed and a shower.
Past the hollow narrative of Ms. Kidman’s journey in this case, the Etihad VR experience is a clever way to market the A380 product that Etihad has carefully cultivated. Each scene panning through the respective aircraft cabin shows the flight experience in immersive detail, portraying a world with superior in-flight entertainment, happy customers, beautiful cabin design and non-stop opulence. At its core, it’s simple ad for an airline trying to capture markeshare in the U.S. — but the with the addition of immersive media and celebrity talent, the Etihad A380 Virtual Reality experience expertly targets the tech-forward and affluent audience that Etihad so tactfully desires.
You may watch the video at the link that follows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NxhilMIvzE