Air New Zealand’s Aviation Design Academy, a Crowd Sourcing Initiative

Air New Zealand Aviation Design Academy Brief #1: The Shakedown

Social media and interactive websites have opened up a direct line between businesses to consumers, and Air New Zealand is ready to take advantage of this opportunity.

Crowd sourcing is becoming more and more popular. It’s based around the idea of involving many people in the contribution of ideas to a product or service, a job that would have in the past been left to individuals or relatively small teams.

The concept is based around cultivating creativity and innovation from a wider pool of ideas, which is exactly what Air New Zealand is doing through the Aviation Design Academy.

The Aviation Design Academy seeks to put the finishing touching on the in-flight experience of the new 777-300 aircraft.

They’re crowd sourcing to fulfil 4 briefs, the original cocktail, the in-flight snack, the eye mask and for those who aren’t too keen on the creative side of things the opportunity to be judged on their pitch of an idea, and pitch alone.

The lucky winners will score two seats on the new 777-300 flight from Auckland to London in April 2011 to experience the winning designs first hand.

What has been done exceptionally well is prepare a whole bunch of videos that explain, in an light, Kiwi way exactly what Air New Zealand are after. They’re the finishing touch that grounds the competition in reality.

The Aviation Design Academy is an effective crowd sourcing effort, perhaps most importantly for the fact that they are only sourcing ideas they can actually use. This is in comparison to My Starbucks Idea which has been criticised for using very few of their customers’ ideas.

Aside from some minor technical difficulties, (sometimes the site refuses to load), the only downside to Air New Zealand’s take on crowd sourcing is that it may leave some wondering why their creativity is restricted to merely a cocktail, snack or eye mask. Not a huge issue in my opinion, it is better for a company to be honest about what they are seeking, after all.

The competition itself demands a level of engagement for interested entrants, and generates even more exposure of Air New Zealand’s new online marketing initiatives.

Air New Zealand are doing an incredible job of building awareness and anticipation for the launch of the new 777-300 aircraft. The true impact may only be felt once the aircraft is ready for launch, but at the rate Air New Zealand is going I don’t think anyone will be too disappointed.

Editor in Chief at here SMNZ, I have a passion for social and digital media. When not writing and managing SMNZ I am the Head of Innovation at TAG The Agency, a digital ad agency and the Head of Sales and Marketing for End-Game, a software development agency. I'm also involved with a number of startups and I am always keen to support those that are bold enough to give things a go. Start something, better to try than to live wondering what if...

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