Air France advertised their airline with a full-page print ad in the New Yorker, a New York City based magazine. The ad portrayed a sentimental portrait of a man and a woman nostalgically staring into the distance while the Eiffel Tower rises in the background. The purpose of this ad is to convince consumers that have already heard of Air France, but either don’t use it or don’t commonly use it, to use it more frequently. This goal is successfully achieved through the use of a romanticized emotional appeal reaching an appropriate demographic of middle-aged women.
Air France targets a group of liberal, middle-aged women without kids that love the adventure of travel. Most importantly, the sentimental nature of the advertisement attracts women. Everything from the tender moment shared with one’s spouse to the very location of travel, Paris appeals, to more basic feminine tendencies. Both men and women are highly responsive to emotional advertising, however there is a significant difference within specific emotional appeals. For example men are more receptive to humorous and lighthearted ads, while women enjoy serious non-humorous ads. Men also appreciate creative ads, while females enjoy ads that depict a “slice of life” (WPP, Millard and Brown). Therefore, this ad engages those women that seek ads with a “slice of life.” Further, the target age is late 20s to mid 30s. These are women and couples that can afford to take a trip to Paris, enjoy traveling, and are still relatively mobile. Part of this mobility may stem from the fact that they do not have kids. Additionally, the ad is sophisticated, but also very simple. There is relatively little going on in the background and both characters are dressed modestly. This simplicity makes it relevant to middle class fliers who may even aspire to the classy stereotype of upper class.
Air France uses an emotional appeal to reach these targeted young to middle aged women. Because Air France is a well-established airline, founded in 1933, it has already done the necessary advertising to build public awareness. Therefore, advertisements can become more creative, focusing on branding their service with an emotional message, while worrying less about being informative. Moreover, Air France successfully creates a refined and romantic tone for their ad. Within the ad, the man and the woman hold each other in a sweet embrace. The man incredulously examines the world with a new sense of victory and awe, while the woman is overcome with nostalgia and satisfaction. This younger couple has just taken a trip that will forever hold a sentimental spot in their heart, let alone impact their perceptions of the world. Air France profits by selling that “perfect trip” as an emblem for its flights. All these emotional elements additionally appeal to the ambitions we hold and the way we aspire to see ourselves. This emotional appeal is also necessary because taking a vacation is a high involvement purchase. Tickets to Paris are expensive, and taking a vacation takes lots of planning- when to take of work and who will look after for pets and plants. In many ways this level of involvement dictates the entire tone for the strategy. If Air France can plant the idea of traveling to Paris, their goal is already half achieved.
Because of the geographical location and psychographics of its audience, The New Yorker is an excellent medium for Air France to reach is target audience. Air France is an international airline with its biggest hubs at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Orly Airport, and Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport. New York’s J.F.K. airport happens to be the largest international airport in North America. Therefore, most of the people traveling internationally from New York would be highly likely to be affected by the ad. Since The New Yorker is based out of New York City, not only will the advertisement be seen by most of the people living in New York City but also people from all over the world will likely see it as it appears on stands at J.F.K. This makes it a great location for reaching those that like to travel or travel a lot.
Additionally, the people reached by the magazine are compatible with Air France’s target audience. According to the magazine, 53% of its circulation occurs in the top ten United States Metropolitan areas. Because most metropolitan areas lean liberal, this fits Air France’s target female whose young and spirited, wanting to experience the world. More specifically within the boroughs of New York, computer software, known as PRIZM, allows advertisers to analyze psychographics of particular groups. One of the most common psychographics within Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan is the urban achiever. This group of people is often young and without kids. They have a college education and many are foreign born. Valuable to Air France, these urban achievers are already very worldly, with different nationalities and languages, making them more likely to fly internationally. While using PRIZM can be very beneficial to capturing a target audience, it possesses key limitations. Most significantly, it offers a reductionist approach to complex human emotions, habits, and behaviors. Most people cannot be put into categories, and as a result the psychographics are correct only to the extent that people fit into these predetermined categories.
Overall, Air France effectively utilized the romanticized image of a vacation to target young women that are already predisposed to travel. This target audience is influenced by the strong sentimental appeals. While the magazine provides a great medium for displaying this emotion through visualization and persistence, future ads could consider television as an extremely powerful way of appealing to emotions through multisensory, and longer ads.
Brown, M. Do Men and Women Respond Differently to Ads? WWP. Retrieved from http://www.wpp.com/wpp/marketing/advertising/do-men-and-women-respond- differently-to-ads/ (accessed 11/5/13)
Nielson Market Place. Prizm. Retrieved from http://www.claritas.com/MyBestSegments/Default.jsp?ID=0&menuOption=home& pageName=Home# (accessed 11/5/13)