SriLankan Airlines, the National Carrier of Sri Lanka and a member of the Oneworld alliance, won three awards at Golden City Gate Awards 2018 at ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair, reaffirming the global appeal and innovativeness of its marketing communication endeavours yet again. The 18th edition of the awards saw a jury of 40 members judging 157 submissions sent in by over 30 countries.
SriLankan Airlines Senior Marketing Manager Saminda Perera (centre) with the Golden City Gate Awards President Wolfgang Jo Huschert at ITB Berlin 2018
SriLankan Airlines was awarded the ‘First Star’ in the campaign category, for its Melbourne launch campaign “Two Cities, One Spirit.” It also bagged the ‘Second Star’ in the same category, for its brand campaign in China themed “The Spirit of China, the Story of Sri Lanka.” The third, another ‘Second Star’, was bestowed upon SriLankan for its video “The Largest Carrier to India” in the TV Cinema Spot category.
This is the second consecutive time the airline was commended at the Golden City Gate podium, having been the recipient of the ‘First Star’ for its destination video “Epic Journey of Sri Lanka on SriLankan Airlines” in the MICE Promotions category last year.
SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajith Dias said: “We at SriLankan Airlines are truly delighted to receive three prestigious awards at this year’s Golden City Gate Awards. This proves that our marketing communications endeavours have been universally accepted.”
SriLankan Airlines Chief Commercial Officer Siva Ramachandran said: “We are truly honoured to have our efforts recognised at the Golden City Gate Awards yet again. This award will be an inspiration for us to explore new avenues in creative conceptualisation and the creation of unique content to take Sri Lanka to the world.”
The ‘First Star’ winning submission, the “Two cities, One spirit” campaign conducted for the launch of new destination Melbourne, stems from a place of honouring and celebrating the kinship between Melbourne and Sri Lanka. This was aimed to appeal to the Sri Lankan diaspora in Melbourne and Australians who are attracted to adventure on the island. The creative executions were inspired by idiosyncrasies that exist in both Sri Lankan and Australian cultures, expressed through visuals that celebrate the similar vivacity and passion, deeply rooted in food, art, cricket, surfing and the iconic wildlife that are inherent to both destinations.
The use of the location pin as a stylistic element widely recognised by the contemporary traveller was aimed to emphasise on the non-stop connectivity (the point-to-point quality) and that connections can be extended to an onward destination across the airline’s network.
The airline’s direct daily service between Colombo and Melbourne were well received by passengers, and has been a commercial success. The Airline envisages that this momentous entry to Australia will pave the way for further expansion in the region.
The ‘Second Star’ winning entry “The Spirit of China, the Story of Sri Lanka” is an attempt to reach out to Chinese travellers through a medium which is familiar to them. The visuals, which depict Chinese traditional painting styles portraying prominent icons of Sri Lanka, were a pictorial translation of a destination through a visual dialect which is close to their hearts. This campaign was a brand-building initiative in itself, and an effective way to direct travellers and potential travellers to the language-specific content created on Sri Lanka for their perusal.
Chinese art focuses on capturing the spirit of the object rather than recreating its physical form. In Sri Lanka, where what’s considered ‘ideal’ is very real - with breathtaking landscapes, vibrant history and culture – this ode to the Chinese mode of appreciation was amalgamated with the familiar outlines of prominent Sri Lankan locations. The range of visuals depicts the two countries’ shared love of aesthetic beauty, which is expressed in the spirit of serenity, adventure and new beginnings.
SriLankan Airlines’ presence in China accounts for 20 flights a week to four destinations (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong) from Colombo. Given that Sri Lanka has been progressively witnessing an increase in tourist arrivals from China, as the National Carrier of Sri Lanka, SriLankan will continue to explore potential expansion opportunities, such as frequency enhancements and induction of new cities.
The third award was given to SriLankan’s video titled ‘The Largest Carrier to India’, which captures the vibrancy, the liveliness and the diversity of India through attractive visuals and a captivating soundtrack. It portrays everything that embodies India as an extraordinary destination worth exploring.
Currently, SriLankan Airlines is the largest international carrier connecting India with the world with 135 flights a week from 14 prominent cities of India. This visual depiction, whilst touching upon the inherent features of India, highlights the Airline’s extensive connectivity.
SriLankan Airlines has been aptly supported by its creative agency, J Walter Thompson Sri Lanka, in all these creative endeavours. The latter’s creative expertise and understanding, aligning with global trends, has made its association with the National Carrier truly remarkable and award-winning. Every year the Golden City Gate Awards recognises and rewards the creative efforts of the global tourism industry, expressed through various mediums. The artwork are judged by an international jury based on a point system, and each submission is evaluated for its creativity, innovativeness, design, structure, authenticity and whether it encourages the audience to visit the destination.