2018 Brand Experience & Activation


Category B02. Use of Ambient Media: Large Scale
Entrant DDB Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Idea Creation DDB Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Idea Creation 2 TRIBAL Amstelveen, THE NETHERLANDS
Name Company Position
Ed van Bennekom DDB & Tribal Amsterdam Creative Director
Jasper Diks DDB & Tribal Amsterdam Creative Director
Gijs Sluijters DDB & Tribal Amsterdam Copywriter
Joris Tol DDB & Tribal Amsterdam Art Director
Sophie van Pelt DDB & Tribal Amsterdam Senior Producer
Jolijn de Visser DDB & Tribal Amsterdam Senior Producer
Ralf Hesen DDB & Tribal Amsterdam Strategy Director
Esther te Pas DDB & Tribal Amsterdam Business Director
Collin Huijser In Case of Fire Director
Arjan Oosterveer In Case of Fire Producer
Joris Bulstra In Case of Fire D.O.P.
Peter Bot Peter Bot (Chairs) Model Maker
FROLIC Studio FROLIC Studio (Technic) Model Maker
Jaap Wajer Loudness.io Sound Designer
Kim Hinrichs In Case of Fire Off-line editor
Taco Arts In Case of Fire Off-line editor
Tim van Paassen The Compound On-line editor
Massive Music Massive Music Music studio
Natascha van Roode KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Head of Global Marketing Communication
Marit Badia Hilligehekken KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Global Marketing Communications Manager

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation ?

We created the ‘KLM Connecting Seats’: 2 seats that translated every language in real time, allowing travellers with different languages to talk to each other. The KLM Connecting Seats offered air travellers and passers-by a unique brand experience at KLM’s home base: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. We a) activated travellers to connect with random strangers and open up to other cultures, and b) activated people to interact with content around the KLM Connecting Seats event (sharing and liking, and commenting on the documentary video).


KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is in the business of bringing people together: it unites families, friends and other relations all over the world. KLM wanted to use the days around Christmas to communicate a message of unity, togetherness and sharing. A message that would touch people, create sympathy for the brand and would contribute to KLM’s brand purpose ‘Moving your world by creating memorable experiences’. A message that had to reach as many people around the globe as possible through ‘earned media’, since KLM’s media budget was limited.

Describe the creative idea

Airports are some of the busiest places in the world, crowded with people from different backgrounds. But because of language barriers, passengers tend not to make human connections while waiting for their flights. We created ‘Connecting Seats’: 2 seats that translate every language in real time, allowing travellers with different languages to talk to each other. With this experience, we set out to bring random travellers together during the Christmas season. The Seats yielded some warm and emotional chats, in which people exchanged views on the world and holiday greetings. Travellers from over 30 countries put their phones or books aside and opened up to each other. The best moments were turned into a social video.

Describe the strategy

Primary target audience: air travellers who depart, land or transfer at KLM’s home base Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Secondary target audience: people (worldwide) who fly regularly (2 flights or more per year) to a destination abroad: 25+, social class A or B, people with a good job and a busy social life. Because of KLM’s wish to generate earned media effects, we decided the best way to accomplish this was to develop a striking brand experience that would touch people. Because of the cultural differences we had to deal with, we needed to come up with a concept that would appeal to just about any person in the world, no matter their (cultural) background. Our story around connection/unity taps in to a universal feeling.

Describe the execution

The Connecting Seats > The seats were designed to rest your head in the centre, with speakers on each side. A directional microphone facilitated the audio connection. The Connecting Seats used Google’s Cloud Speech, Translation and Web Speech APIs to translate every language, including multiple dialects. Social content > Because of KLM’s ambition to reach as many people as possible worldwide, we decided to focus on a social video of the experience that people would love to share. We sent a press release to media that focus on digital trends and seeded the video on Facebook, Instagram, WeChat and Twitter. We concentrated all our efforts in a single week around Christmas.

List the results

• 20+ million views. • Number of shares and comments above benchmark with 110,000+. • 95% positive response on social media. • Emotional connection on social video scored well above benchmark. • Global media coverage by authoritative media such as Trendwatching.com, PSFK, Yahoo! plus shared by Google Europe on its social channels. • Amongst the 10% best scoring KLM content