Aniston and Emirates, on a Different Plane
Posted on October 19, 2016 | By ArabAd staff

When it comes to choosing an airline that offers ‘more of the same’, price constitutes a critical factor. However, it is on-board amenities that are the real game changers. To highlight these perks, Emirates Airlines teamed up again with acclaimed Hollywood actress, Jennifer Aniston, in its latest TV spot.

Early October, Emirates Airlines unveiled a 90-second light-hearted TVC. The spot, preceded by two teasers, is directed by industry veteran and Oscar-nominee Bryan Buckley, renowned for his Super Bowl ads such as McDonald’s 'Proud Papa' and Coca-Cola’s 'Mirage'. 

The script and the creative concept were a collaboration between Buckley and Emirates’ in-house advertising team, produced in conjunction with the WPP Group. According to industry insiders, Aniston received $5 million for her endorsement. 

The story: Aniston pampers herself in the shower spa and comes back to her Private Suite, only to find a little boy, Cooper, playing in it. She befriends him and listens to his aspirations of becoming a pilot, while “refueling” with some carrot juice. When Cooper finally joins his surprised parents in the Economy Class, Aniston chooses to sit next to him. In the meantime, Cooper’s mother seems relaxed in the actress’s suite, as the two have apparently exchanged seats.

The film is distinguished by its appealing storytelling style, and the overriding feeling one gets while watching, which comes across like an interesting movie trailer rather than a commercial. Furthermore, the inherent attributes, which characterise the beautifully-designed interior had a warm and quite intimate feel that at some point, one completely forgets it’s an airplane!

The TVC was met with positive popular feedback, as it amassed more than three million views on YouTube, 20 days after its release. In order to encourage fans to further join the conversation, the company has created a #JensBack hashtag. 

Emirates Airlines has in fact produced this commercial as a continuation of a previous one released last year, featuring Aniston as well. However, the two spots target different audiences as they accentuate various aspects of the Emirati Airlines. While the 2015 commercial emphasises the luxurious and opulent airline's services, its sequel highlights the impeccable facilities of not only the first class, but also the second one. 

Interesting to note that Emirates did not pick some Arabic celebrity to endorse the brand. But since Dubai is positioning itself as an international hub, there are no Arab cross-over celebrities on a global level (reaching the fame heights of Aniston). 

Celebrity endorsement is in fact a heavily used marketing tool, as many other airlines have a long established strategy of hiring brand ambassadors. 

As a matter of fact, famous people are instantly recognisable and can attract consumer interest. Some celebrity airline endorsements that have graced the screen were: Air New Zealand’s fitness guru Richard Simmons, Alaska Airlines’ Super Bowl winner Russell Wilson, British Airways’ actor Orlando Bloom, Qantas’ actor John Travolta, Turkish Airlines’ actor Kevin Costner and NBA star Kobe Bryant, Etihad Airways’ Nicole Kidman, and Emirates’ Airline football legend Pele and Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, celebrity endorsement can be a risky choice, as many iconic figures - such Oscar Pistorius, Tiger Woods, Ryan Lochte - turned very tricky to their sponsors. 

Nonetheless, Aniston has succeeded in building a solid brand of her own. She and Emirates seem to be a match made - if not in heaven - at least in the skies.