KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
"The Journey"

Client: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Product: Airline
Title: The Journey
Media: Podcast
Country: The Netherlands
Date Of Campaign: March 2018 - August 2019

Background: As a pioneering airline KLM Royal Dutch Airlines looked for a new way to connect with its audiences. The Royal Dutch Airlines company wondered: would it be possible to give people a travel experience without flying them to a destination? This challenge stimulated the creativity of Airborne, a strategic audio agency based in The Netherlands. We came up with 'The Journey’: a podcast about trips that changed everything.

Idea: # # Idea # # In 'The Journey' real people share their experiences about a journey that altered the course of their lives forever. The first series launched in spring 2018, a second season was released in 2019. This included a special bonus episode to celebrate KLM’s 100 years anniversary. In total 13 episodes were released, each lasting about half an hour. The series takes listeners to the icy plains of Alaska, the hectic streets of New Delhi and to one of the most remote islands in the Pacific. These are the decors of the life-changing journeys made by the main characters. The podcast has a high production value. The in-depth interviews are interspersed with a narrator and carefully edited to create a dramatic arch. To enrich the listening experience, the spoken word is supported with atmospheric sounds and an original soundtrack.# # Strategy # # The underlying strategy is based on the following 4 pillars1. Communication as an experienceKLM’s brand purpose is ‘Moving your world by creating memorable experiences’. The airline brings this into daily practice by flying its clients to the worlds most special places. But what if the communication itself is memorable? Airborne aimed for a high-quality production that gives listeners an immersive listening experience. 2. Increase brand visibilityPodcast The Journey allows KLM to be visible for the first time in channels and on platforms where it absent before (e.g. Spotify, Apple Podcasts). This gives the brand a unique opportunity to connect with new audiences in new environments and markets at new moments.3. Addition to existing channelsIn its marketing communications mix, KLM has already a lot of content in place that shows the beauty of its destinations. But content that shows how valuable and inspiring travel can be on an individual level, was less present. So, stories that focus purely on the power of travel have enormous potential and are an addition to the existing channels.4. Underscoring brand values‘The Journey’ does not only match KLM’s brand purpose, it also underscores KLM’s pioneering spirit. Worldwide the podcast is developing at a very high pace. KLM was able to show it true colors by embracing this new and innovative way of storytelling in an early stage.# # Campaign & distribution # # ‘The Journey’ is available on all major podcast platforms, like Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts. The main goal was to send listeners to these platforms, where they can listen and subscribe to the podcast. We set up a campaign and distribution strategy to raise awareness. An overall approach ensures the use of owned, paid and earned media.1. Owned mediaThe hub is a rich but functional designed landing page ( that consists of a trailer, all available episodes and redirects to all major podcast platforms. Virtually all KLM owned media, as well internal as external, put the spotlights on ‘The Journey’. From boarding passes to inflight entertainment. 2. Paid mediaWe ensured visibility within all relevant channels, like advertising in podcast-apps. On the day of the launch, we took over the Spotify start screen, for instance. 3. Earned mediaThe Journey got a lot of free exposure. News, travel and media websites worldwide wrote about The Journey. Just like listeners on social media.# # Check out the case # #- Landingpage: Case video: Listen to the podcast in your favorite app:

Results: Media worldwide reported about KLM’s podcast. The free publicity underscored KLM’s pioneering spirit and so it helped to establish the brand value of innovation. The Journey received recognition by being nominated for a Webby Award and by winning several awards including a Red Dot Award and 3 Lovie Awards. Since the launch in March 2018 the listeners base grows on a constant level. The vast majority of listeners subscribe to the channel. With the distribution of every new episode, this results in more downloads because subscribers get new episodes directly pushed to their device. Results per 1 April 2020:Unique listeners: 724,128Average engagement time: 27,4 minutesSubscription rate (percentage of listeners that subscribe to the channel): 73%

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