Cathay Pacific unveils global 'Life Well Traveled' campaign

Cathay Pacific 'Life well traveled' by McCann Worldgroup.
Cathay Pacific 'Life well traveled' by McCann Worldgroup.

Airline's new campaign takes flight with campaign emphasizing customer experience

HONG KONG — After working to refine its design, product and experience, Cathay Pacific on Tuesday launches a global campaign by McCann Worldgroup that seeks to communicate a more "expansive" position in the market.

The campaign includes print and outdoor advertising as well as a "Life well traveled" content hub; social media initiatives with key influencers and the hastag #lifewelltravelled; and display advertising on media outlets such as CNN.

While Cathay Pacific’s brand communication has focused on "people" as a point of differentiation in the past, the brand has broadened its base to encompass the overall "design, service and product," which the airline recently worked with Eight Partnership to refine.  

As a campaign, "Life well traveled" aims to introduce the airline's new brand position, focusing on the "imperfections of travel" and the role Cathay Pacific plays in delivering a "realistic experience."

"There’s been a lot of product and service enhancement at Cathay Pacific that’s been quiet," said Brandon Cheung, managing director of McCann’s Cathay Pacific Central Team. "This campaign introduces those essential changes, and the main idea is not to portray travel as perfect."

Insights gained from Cathay Pacific’s customers, staff and stakeholders led to one central idea: To live well, one must also travel well. Not in a "glitz and glamour" sense but rather a "realistic and human" one.

Martin Lever, executive creative director at McCann Worldgroup Hong Kong, told Campaign Asia-Pacific that "Life well traveled" involved reaching back into Cathay’s 70-year history as well as looking at the demands of customers in the modern era.

"In the beginning we even looked at Wu Xing philosophy and the central elements that create a balanced experience in life," said Lever. "We realized there’s more to experience than just people, and we want to be relevant to people throughout the year rather than just when they travel."

Part of this was acknowledging that the time spent flying represents a small part of a person’s overall travel experience, albeit an important part. "The belief that travelling well is part of living well emerged continuously in our discussion with people at Cathay," Lever said.

The campaign also features three videos that delve into different Cathay customer archetypes: Miss Adventure (below), Road Warrior and The Family.

"Miss Adventure" focuses on young travellers, a relatively "new market" for Cathay Pacific. "Road Warriors" blurs the line between business traveller, father and a man in a foreign place where things don't always go according to plan. "The Family" offers a more realistic portrait of a family travelling, without seeking to "overly glamorise" the experience.

"Ultimately Cathay wants to simply help people travel well through all of their experiences," said Lever.

This story first appeared on

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