Kulula Airlines Announces Better Online Check-in In Unique Way

Discount South African airline Kulula, has informed their customers (and soon to be customers) about a change to their services in an unusual way. By teaming up with the King James Group agency, kulula was able to make a bit of a spectacle in a few of South Africa’s international airports, at the same time as drawing attention to their new #selfservice online check-in.

The Campaign

In the campaign, travelers at Cape Town International Airport and O.R. Tambo International Airport were treated with a surprise when well-known local celebrities Siv Ngesi, an actor and comedian, and Jack Parow, a local rapper, made an appearance in motorized baths and beds. Decked out with branding, these unexpected check-in locations drove themselves around the crowds at the airport, making a statement about just how easy it can be to check-in with

Why It Works

The #SelfService offering from is nothing new, most airlines have been offering this service in some form or another for years now. But with the help of the King James Group they’ve been able to take an old service offering, and make it into a campaign that’s new and totally unique to kulula. Here’s why it works:

It’s Unexpected: There’s nothing quite like seeing a guy cruising around an airport in a motorized bathtub or bed while checking in for their flight. It’s pretty much the last thing a traveler expects to see when they’re flying (especially with airports becoming such serious security centers). That unexpected shock has a lot of power from an advertising sense. When something is out of place we pay attention to it, that’s just how our brain works, and we’re more likely to remember it later. Pairing the shock factor with the clear branding improves brand recognition and makes this campaign a winner.

It’s Funny: As well as being unexpected, the hilarity of the campaign makes it especially effective. Most marketers know that if you can make someone laugh, you’re more likely to sell them something. When people are entertained, that happy feeling carries over into their perception of the brand, and improves their concept of the company’s reputation. By entertaining travelers with their campaign, kulula has been able to improve their standing, making passengers more partial to them in the future.

Famous Faces

The use of famous famous isn’t groundbreaking in the advertising world, but it has to be done right in order to be effective. By using local celebrities, to spruce a local airline, has done just that. Bringing the celebrity face to the campaign gets some people excited, but the campaign isn’t hinged on this celebrity power, so it is effective just the same. But, for those people in the know – the younger generation based on the celebrities, the campaign has even more power.


Advertising Agency: King James Group, South Africa
Chief Creative Officer: Alistair King
Executive Creative Directors: Devin Kennedy, Matt Ross
Copywriter: Roderick McCall
Art Directors: Justin Enderstein, Graeme Bettles
Business Director: Melanie De Winnaar
Production Company: Audio Visual Alchemy
Agency Producer: Wesley Coller