Saturday, July 13, 2013

Guest Post: Jet manufacturers look to boost sales with celebrity endorsements

Embraer premiered a short film to promote the Legacy 500 which featured Jackie ChanAs the global recession rumbles onwards, the aviation business continues to feel the financial turbulence over the sales of private jets (pardon the pun). So, in an effort to combat this, some manufacturers are now using celebrity brand ambassadors, hoping that they can use star status to boost their fortunes.

One recent example of this came from the Brazilian jet producer ‘Embraer Executive Jets’. They premiered a short film to promote the Legacy 500, a new jet, which featured Jackie Chan. The video is called Unbelievable, lasts for 6 minutes and has the production values of Hollywood whilst portraying the jet as something out of this world.

Naturally the Kung Fu master, in his capacity as an official brand ambassador for Embraer, also owns a Legacy 650. This private jet has the personalised touch, with the tail displaying a unique ‘Jackie’ motif (pictured below).

The aim here is simple. By using a huge star from Hong Kong, Embraer are convinced that Chan’s image will be able to help grow the company’s business within emerging markets such as China.

Bombardier Business Aircraft are another company that widely use brand ambassadors. One of the most significant is John Travolta, who has had an association with Bombardier since 2011 when he purchased his own Challenger 601 and thus became their most famous pilot.

It is well known that Travolta is an aviation fanatic, he possesses 11 different aeroplane licenses and has gone so far as to be a test pilot for the new Challenger 350 midsized jet. At the 2013 EBACE convention in Geneva, Travolta told the audience of his experiences and how ‘I felt like an astronaut’.

However, Bombardier have not rested on their laurels. They have an eclectic range of brand ambassadors which has included the men’s world no. 1 tennis player, Novak Djokovic, classical pianist Lang Lang and the architect Frank Gehry. Similarly, Gulfstream Aerospace have jet users that are very high-profile, with Jim Carrey and Tom Cruise the tip of the iceberg.

Still, in the world of private jets there is always the potential for some more unusual examples of publicity. Cessna made headlines around the world due to Justin Bieber being a passenger on a chartered Cessna Citation X that flew into Germany.

Unbeknownst to the star, his pet capuchin monkey Mally required certain paperwork to be allowed free entry into Munich, paperwork that was not forthcoming. The German customs authorities were therefore left with little choice but to confiscate Mally and to place him within an animal sanctuary.

Happily I can report that Mally has a new home as a part of the Serengeti Park in Hodenhagen (North Germany). Although I must add that at this time he has not been contacted to become a brand ambassador for any jet charter companies.

Reporting: Darren Douglas


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