KLM’s activation unites worldwide strangers


Airports are exciting. The final stage before jetting off to somewhere exotic and, often, new, you can almost feel the anticipation in the air. But amidst all of the rushing, frenzied activity within airport terminals, how many of us stop and take a second to think about those alone at an airport? Probably very few.

KLM Royal Dutch Airways cleverly spotted an opportunity over the holiday season when they created an experiential campaign that targeted lonely travellers.

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KLM took to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and provided lonesome globetrotters with a ‘Bonding Buffet’. It filled a large round table with delicious Christmas dinner and offered it all for free. Sounds perfect, right? It wasn’t quite that simple.

The table was elevated 4.5 metres in the air and to get the table to lower, the 20 stools around it had to be filled.

Passersby looked confused and reluctant to join in at first, feeling more comfortable sticking to their books or phones. But, when they clocked on to what was happening, they jumped at the opportunity to be part of the action.

Before long, people from around the world were working together to successfully lower the table and dig into the feast on offer. Any negativity around festive traveling was transformed thanks to KLM’s immersive activation.

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In a highly creative way, KLM’s experiential stunt got total strangers engaging and bonding while enjoying a live brand experience – something that can be achieved at any time of the year, not just at Christmas. It targeted consumers at a time of need, always a sure-fire way to initiate on going loyalty.

The Bonding Buffet saw a total of 60 travellers from different nationalities taking part. The campaign’s video has since gained over 1.5 million YouTube views, confirming its success.

Airports are great locations for experiential activations – people have time to kill when waiting for a flight.

Other great examples include travelers at Atlanta’s Hatfieled-Jackson International Airport being given the opportunity to recharge their batteries and airline company Kulula making tired customers at Cape Town International Airport extremely jealous when they took a bed and placed in in the middle of all the hustle and bustle.

We hope to experience something similar the next time we decide to jet off!

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Author bio


With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.