Summits Yellow

Cathay Pacific deploys VR to create their best-performing ad campaign of all time

Tim Maytom

Premium airline Cathay Pacific Airways USA is celebrating the results of its latest brand campaign which delivered its best results ever thanks to the use of interactive 36 ad units.

"The 360° expandable units outperformed our previous brand banners as well as industry average for CTR (0.33 per cent)," said Robecta Ma, vice president of marketing for Americas at Cathay Pacific. "On publisher sites such as Conde Nast Traveler, customers spent an average of 20.8 seconds on the units."

In addition to increased performance around user interaction, the brand saw strong lift in key metrics, most notably in unaided awareness, which rose 27 per cent, and favourability, which was up 25 per cent. Preference for the airline also grew by 12 per cent, with particularly good results among women and affluent readers.

The campaign focused on highlighting Hong Kong and Asia as personal leisure destinations and establishing Cathay Pacific's role as the leader in travel to Asia. The airline especially wanted to target travellers who hadn't yet experienced the airline, and so they turned to the high impact format of VR to drive a strong lower-funnel performance.

"By enabling digestible 360° video units of our lounge and flight experiences, potential customers can virtually experience a Cathay Pacific flight first hand, which is especially useful for those who do not live close to one of our six American gateways," said Ma. "We wanted to make it accessible to everyone, which means being able to run on mobile phones."

Cathay Pacific worked with VR/AR ad platform OmniVirt for the campaign. OmniVirt's technology enabled the VR experience to be distributed on any media property, resulting in a much wider reach and targeting that fitted the campaign goal of reaching potential customers.

Following the success of the campaign, Cathay Pacific plans to continue running immersive ads, and will test out AR in addition to virtual reality, solidifying 36 experiences as part of their overall marketing arsenal.