Monday, November 28, 2011

SAS follows up LGBT success


Scandinavian Airlines is following up its LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) campaign “Love is in the air”, one of 2010’s most successful social media campaigns, with an improved LGBT micro site ( and a gay version of the popular SAS Crew Guide concept. SAS has also won numerous awards for its LGBT focus this year.

“We launched ‘Love is in the air’, a campaign ending with the world’s first gay and lesbian weddings in the air, as we had fallen behind our competitors in attracting LGBT customers. As the campaign reached over 150 million people worldwide and we had over 550,000 unique visitors to the Love-site, we managed to position us as one of the world’s leading airline amongst one of the most loyal and high-yield customer groups,” says Anders Lindström, PR Director, SAS.

The SAS Crew Guide concept has for the past seven years been a global success, and earlier this year it was turned into an app. For the LGBT audience, SAS has now created a gay video version of the popular concept, with three videos where SAS crew shows Anton Hysén the best of Stockholm has to offer in terms of restaurants, museums and activities. Hysén made headlines all over the world earlier this year when he became the first active and youngest sportsman to come out. The three videos – Eat, Play and See – are now available on SAS’ LGBT microsite A preview of the films made its Hollywood premiere last week at a major PR event organized by VisitSweden.

The microsite is aimed as a one-stop shop for LGBT travelers going to Scandinavia, with introductions, maps, tips and links for the Nordic capitals. The content is provided by the various tourist boards, as well as Swedish gay network QX and the Stockholm Gay and Lesbian Network. SAS was the first European airline to launch a microsite specifically for the LGBT market, whereas most US carriers have had one for almost a decade.
“Compared to our competitors, who spend a lot of money creating pretty ads claiming they’re LGBT-friendly, SAS is focused to create activities that clearly show that we are LGBT-friendly. We have noticed that this creates a greater value for SAS within the LGBT community,” says Anders Lindström.

Approximately 6-8% of the population in the Western world is LGBT, whilst LGBT travelers account for approximately 15% of total revenue within the travel industry. At SAS, it is estimated that every 13thcustomer is LGBT.

SAS has also been praised for its LGBT focus within the last year. IGLTA (International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association) named SAS Innovator of the year and Flightglobal awarded SAS Online Campaign of the year, whilst the Love campaign was also nominated as PR of the year at Sweden’s Stora PR Priset, Social Media Campaign of the Year at the prestigious European-wide Digital Communication Awards and most recently for the Brand Experience Award.

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