All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s leading airline carrier, recently announced that its “Inspiration of Japan” service brand will be introduced to the Los Angeles-Narita (Tokyo) route beginning January 2012. It will also be launching from San Francisco, CA in December.

Under the “Inspiration of Japan” umbrella, ANA is gradually renewing its international products and services with the motto, “Innovative, original and inspired by modern Japan.” They embrace the challenge of constantly innovating and keeping pace with the changing tastes and preferences of valued customers, as well as consistently exceeding their expectations.

To celebrate and spread the word, ANA hosted a showcasing event last week at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles that featured First, Business and Economy class mock-up seats displayed along with several presentations. The night also included hosted food and beverages plus numerous members of the ANA staff on-hand to personally talk with guests, share information and answer questions.

Invitees included travel agents, members of the media, and a number of social influences connected to the brand’s Los Angeles-based brand ambassadors. Using the hashtag #ANALAX (reflecting the airline’s new service to LAX), attendees were encouraged to tweet about the event and share information, photos and more. They did just that, and it resulted in 5.4 million brand impressions!

Not only are events like these creative, but they’re also excellent marketing for several reasons:

  • They really evoke a human element to the brand — inviting people to experience it first-hand leaves a much more intimate impression than if they were to simply read about it.
  • While there’s some outward costs for sponsored food and drink, etc., you’re in turn getting 5.4 million¬†personal impressions. It’s no doubt cheaper than traditional advertising for that substantial a reach.
  • When the goal of the brand is “embrace constantly innovating,” shaking up marketing strategies and the way you engage with consumers is a definite plus!

I was fortunate to be able to attend the event and thought it was fantastic. I respect that ANA trusted their brand ambassadors to invite “real” people (and possible consumers) to “sample” their product, and definitely have a personal association with the brand that I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to attain.

Getting to personally sit in the first-class seats was really awesome. There is a ton of space, and the seats are staggered so that everyone has an aisle seat. They also shift all the way back while the area just in front where your feet can rest (even while sitting up-right) moves forward, stimulating a literal bed to sleep on for the long flight. There is also a thorough, gourmet food and beverage menu available; widescreen LCD touch panels not only for entertainment, but for people to hook in their own iPods or portable devices to enjoy their own videos, photos or music; office space via newly-installed sliding tables and more.

Looking forward to flying ANA!

Debbie Miller
Debbie is the Founder and President of Social Hospitality where she assists clients with social media and content marketing. When she's not online, Debbie enjoys spending time with her spoiled dogs; watching movies; reading; and drinking copious amounts of coffee.
Debbie Miller