Emirates Airline announced today that is has secured F.R.I.E.N.D.S star Jennifer Aniston as its newest brand ambassador. The actress has reportedly shot a global TV, print and online campaign for the airline in an estimated $5 million deal.
This move by Emirates closely follows rival airline Etihad’s unveiling of Nicole Kidman as its latest brand ambassador, and the parallels between the two strategies can easily be drawn. Both actresses peaked in the late 90s/early 2000s but are still regarded as Hollywood elite. As both UAE based companies push deeper into American territories, celebrity tie-ups like these help them make a splash in the US market where actors are viewed as royalty.
But what real value does adding a face like Aniston’s have to a brand that already enjoys a premium image? In markets where Emirates is already strong such as Europe, Asia, and its home base in the Middle East it is doubtful that association with Aniston will have any real impact on sales. However, as the airline’s battle with US airlines over its penetration of American routes continues to heat up, associating itself with America’s sweetheart is definitely an alliance that will increase the company’s likeability stateside.
Hopefully the marketing team has developed a campaign more memorable than the Etihad/Kidman tie-up and potentially has taken a few notes from the wildly successful Turkish airlines famous footballer campaigns. While fame gives a strong foundation to build a campaign on, it is not enough to justify the big tickets that celebrities come with and marketers should do their best to actually create clever content that goes beyond simply using famous faces.
What do you think? Will Aniston improve Emirates’s image globally? Leave your comments below!