With the inaugural flight of its first international Japan to Hawaii route approaching, Hawaiian Airlines engaged PacRim Marketing Group and PRTech to re-position its brand in Japan.
Hawaiian Airlines leads U.S. carriers in on-time performance (2004-2012) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and now in its 84th year of continuous service, is Hawaii’s biggest and longest-serving airline. In its 82nd year, the airline announced intent to fly from Haneda Airport, Tokyo’s newest international airport, to Honolulu, Hawaii as the first new route in the airlines’ expansion throughout Asia. Previously Hawaiian Airlines had been known in Japan predominantly for its inter-island services. PacRim Marketing Group and PRTech needed to re-position the airline as a world-class carrier, stimulating awareness of the new, international Haneda Airport, and communicating the airline’s attractive blend of Hawaiian hospitality and services tailored for Japanese consumer expectations and preferences.
The firm’s U.S. and Asia-Pacific Headquarters collaborated on developing an 8-month campaign leading up to the launch of Hawaiian Airlines’ new daily service from Tokyo. The program integrated Japanese language communication tools and outreach, including Japanese language website development, social media and online marketing, advertising (online and print), PR, video and collateral production, and key Japan-based events engaging and educating the media, government officials and VIP, while celebrating the milestone event.
Over the 8-month concentrated campaign period, Hawaiian Airlines’ first integrated marketing communications program in Japan resulted in over $3,000,000 worth of media exposure, along with positive reception from the public, travel trade partners, and industry influencers, garnering deeper brand and product awareness. The airline’s Japanese language website continues to offer Japanese-friendly navigation and booking, while presenting Hawaii with colorful images and a depth of travel guide information. With this inaugural route, Hawaiian Airlines added approximately 100,000 new air sets annually from Japan, Hawaii’s second-largest tourism market. Hawaiian Airline’s additional Japan routes and future service from Korea and Taiwan were marketed with similar launch programs, including localized language websites for each Asian market.