I came across this example of ‘new media’ today. The interesting thing is that it is for a new discount airline based in South Africa. I haven’t ever been to South Africa, let alone flown on a discount airline down there.
Yet, thanks to the internet and ‘social media’ (I learned about Kulula on Twitter), I heard people ‘talking about’ the brand.
And what were they talking about — the entertaining, amusing and fun paint schemes on the planes. Unlike most airlines that treat their ‘packaging’ in much the same way — some iconic graphic on the tail and the expected use of colors from the sky — Kulula challenged this convention and used their coat of paint as a medium. (Click on pictures to enlarge and see in higher resolution)
They use it to have a conversation with their passengers and those who see the planes around the airport. They educate us about flying — presumably to teach us there is a different way to fly and introduce a ’new kid in town.’
What impressed me most about this example is that it underscores the importance of not losing sight of the power of real world, physical media to enter popular or social culture. In this case, they used their planes and paint, and by treating their packaging as media, they got people talking on-line and in the ‘new’ social media circles.
So for everyone who is rushing to figure out their ‘new media’ strategies and plans for the new world of ‘social media’ we live in, perhaps the answer you seek to get people talking actually can be found in the physical real world.