Airbus - Comic Strip Event

Client: Sabena
Activity: Aircraft industry
Attending Public: 600
Location: Belgium / Brussels
Venue: Hall 41@ Zaventem Airport site

Client Requirement:

Create an event to announce Sabena’s new promotional campaign: all the aeroplanes of the fleet will be decorated by a mascot. The characters will be Belgium’s famous comic strip heroes (Tintin, Lucky Luke, Marsupilami, the Smurfs, etc.) to represent our national airline all over the world. Use Sabena’s largest hangar as an original venue. Two aircraft are at our disposal for the event and will be decorated with their new mascot : an Airbus A-340 and an Avro 85. Since we will invite the same target group as to a previous event, we will work in the same spirit but take care to avoid a ‘déjà vu’ effect

Sabena had merged with Swissair and Austrian Airlines. Every company has its own club system. Try to clearly communicate that flying with any of those companies will also generate air-miles for the holders of Sabena’s Frequent Flyer card. Relate historical facts to emphasize the major role of the National Bank

Target Groups:
Frequent Flyers, Sabena’s best customers, travel agencies and partners

Our Proposal:

We chose to use the system of the hanging ‘box’ again to host the VIP guests of Sabena because we found that this method helped us to prevent a lot of logistical and technical problems. To reveal of the aeroplanes, however, we couldn’t lift up the box again, as we did that last time. Stripping down parts of the structure could be an alternative solution.
At first, we decorated the inside of the box with several large comic strip decors. Also the tunnel between the entrance to the hangar and the ‘box’ was decorated with large pages from comic books. Inside the ‘box’ we projected giant size slides on one of the side walls. The Sabena logo was projected onto a large circular screen besides the speaker’s podium.
After a short welcome of the President and the Operations Director of Sabena, we showed a video to explain the common use of the 3 airline club cards. Since the message was rather technical and commercial, we wanted to avoid being boring. That’s why we used the idea of a ‘lipping video’. We selected several fragments of existing video cartoons but we changed the original dialogues with a new soundtrack specially edited for this event. The result was that the familiar comic strip heroes were explaining the various marketing messages in their own amusing words on the large screen.
The next video showed the Airbus A-340 landing at Zaventem airport and taxiing on the tarmac towards the hangar in which the event was happening. It was a film that we recorded two weeks before, ending with the image of the nose of the aircraft coming closer and closer to the camera. At the very moment that the aircraft would have touched the camera, the large video screen suddenly felt down. A few strong backlight spotlights flashed from behind and the nose of a real A-340 pointed through the round hole, advancing 8 meters into the ‘box’ and revealing the Smurf on it’s front side.
Then the most frequent flyer of Sabena was called on stage. He had the honour of launching the second part of the presentation. While balancing a giant inflatable bottle of Champagne, he dropped one complete side (30 meter long) of the hanging ‘box’, using an electromagnetic Kabuki technique. At the same moment a light and laser show started to play revealing the Avro 85 out of the darkness.
At the end of the show, the guests were invited to walk out of the hanging ‘box’ and attend a walking dinner from the buffet installed under the wings of the Airbus.