As part of a prolonged campaign, Ogilvy UK demonstrated true innovation. By assessing consumer behaviour and considering the customer loyalty impact of an enhanced experience, the campaign was able to demonstrate a real cost benefit of deploying Inmarsat Aviation’s in-flight connectivity technology. A highly sophisticated campaign with thought leadership strategy clearly in play, the nature and scale of media coverage, positioning of the CEO and verifiable Impact were clear. With a £15m potential customer pipeline and research clearly demonstrating the transformation of Inmarsat Aviation from challenger to leader brand with market share growing from 2 to over 45%, this was a truly outstanding campaign.

Mark of Excellence:

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Winner entry:

Brief, objectives and budget:

In today’s ‘always-on’ culture, the one place that consumers remain cut off from the connected world is on a plane. The adoption of inflight Wi-Fi has been patchy and inconsistent, as airlines have struggled to understand the business case for investing.

As a challenger brand, Inmarsat Aviation (IA) came to Ogilvy with the brief to ‘show, not tell’ its airline customers that inflight connectivity (IFC) could drive revenues and enhance reputation.

Our campaign objectives were:

  • To build IA’s stature and credibility by creating differentiation and brand exposure
  • To lead, inform and disrupt the debate around the potential power of IFC
  • To increase consideration and uptake of Inmarsat’s connectivity solutions to airlines by positioning IFC as a value-generator for airlines, not a cost.

The budget was £75k (including fees and third-party costs).

The idea, research and planning:

Our task was to show, for the first time, the scale of the IFC opportunity for airlines. Ogilvy assembled a powerful coalition between the London School of Economics (LSE) and IA to launch a game-changing research study: ‘Sky High Economics (SHE)’ to show the commercial opportunity of IFC. With three chapters released over three years, SHE changed the conversation about IFC forever.

The first two chapters established IA as a disruptive thought leader by demonstrating the economic value of investing in IFC. In SHE Chapter Three, published in 2019, we shifted the focus from an economic study to a behavioural exploration of the industry’s most influential decision maker: the passenger.

Initial analysis undertaken by the LSE of global population and air passenger data revealed that Generation Z will become the largest group of airline passengers in the next decade. The first digitally native customer base – with new loyalty drivers and expectations of inflight experience – became the focal point of our campaign of the final instalment of our thought leadership strategy.

Strategy, creativity and innovation:

Our research led us to the following insight: there is currently little to differentiate between the experience of travelling with one airline over another. Choice of airline often comes down to flight time, cost or route. Loyalty scheme engagement is low, and interaction between airlines and passengers is minimal before and after a flight.

The only time that airlines can really engage with passengers is when in the sky. But currently, this opportunity isn’t being leveraged.

SHE Chapter Three found that IFC will reshape the relationship between passenger and airline by creating unique experiences for passengers, shaped by increased data generation on connected aircraft. Just as Uber and Netflix have revolutionised public transport and entertainment, personalised connected services are defining the future of passenger experience.

The research found that airlines spearheading digital transformation in the cabin stand to gain a major competitive advantage. It identified $33 billion in market share ‘up for grabs’ for airlines to take from competitors (6 per cent of the total commercial passenger aviation market) by embracing IFC and offering digitally-savvy passengers the connected onboard experiences they are seeking.

Delivery/implementation of tactics:

The campaign had three target audiences:

  • Connectivity purchase decision-makers within airlines
  • Aviation influencers, stakeholders and media
  • Broader business, international and national media in key priority markets.

With such a broad target audience, Ogilvy developed a co-ordinated, global, through-the-line campaign with PR at its heart. We used leading global aviation industry conference, APEX Expo, as our launch pad for all activity to access a critical mass of aviation journalists, influencers and decision makers.

We fuelled the launch with a total integrated programme, incorporating content, social, events, direct, advertising and sales enablement:

  • IA for the first time secured a keynote speech at the opening of APEX Expo where IA President Phil Balaam unveiled the findings to airline customers and key opinion leaders
  • A roundtable discussion was held with IA and partners from Qatar Airways and Amazon, with IA acting as a facilitator for industry to understand the benefits of IFC
  • A global media sell-in targeted business, travel and aviation media across IA’s priority markets, supported by research assets, data and interviews from the LSE and IA’s global and regional leaders
  • Powerful shareable assets such as animated social tiles, infographics and snackable video interviews were distributed on social channels, driving traffic
  • The creation of a bespoke summary report, which provided in-depth editorial analysis of the findings, as well as broad thought leadership from Inmarsat spokespeople and key learnings for airlines
  • A printed and digitally gated report, which provided the backbone narrative on top of which IA was able to deliver a unique perspective on connectivity, and the products and services it provides to support it
  • Long-term support for the IA commercial team with interactive content. Meetings arranged with airline prospects for one-to-one delivery of the report insights, adapted into presentation content.

Measurement, evaluation and impact:

Earned coverage and engagement:

  • Over 70 articles across key global business and aviation trade outlets including: Forbes, Business Insider, New Straits Times, The Australian, Thomson Reuters, The Peninsula (Qatar), Aviation Week, Runway Girl Network, Air Transport World, Inflight
  • More than 720m opportunities to see media coverage
  • 3m social impressions, 2,714 clicks (including more than 600 airline clicks).

Tangible commercial benefits and behaviour change among target audience:

  • 14 one-to-one new potential customer engagements using SHE content
  • Incremental £15,000,000 pipeline attributable to SHE content has created a greater than 43 to 1 potential ROI
  • Bolstered confidence in IA to existing customers, with thought leadership positioning IA now as a leader rather than challenger brand.

SHE has stood the test of time, changing the conversation about the case for IFC:

  • SHE has become the industry standard interpretation – not only has it been shared and used by analysts and influencers, it is now consistently used by IA’s competitors as proof of the value of the category.

It has changed the commercial landscape for IA:

  • Contributing significantly to raising brand awareness for a new market entrant from 6% to over 30% amongst key decision-makers
  • Contributing towards share growth from 2% of the market in 2016 to winning 45% of all global RFPs in 2019, 56% outside of the highly leveraged US market
  • Commercial impact is therefore in the $100ms.