Going above and beyond...

Strategic marketing for Airbus

Robbie Crittall | Chief Executive
3 mins
Truly strategic marketing is a joined-up process that links experiences, communications, content and brand building into a single story.

Ivory has a long-running relationship with Airbus, providing strategic marketing support across content, comms and experiences since 2012. Over this time we’ve worked with the brand to create a suite of assets that have impact in the moment, and value over the long-term.

We recently worked to help Airbus show just how valuable their work is to the UK space sector, and science and manufacturing industries. This work included several different phases and touchpoints. Let us take you through three of our favourites...

The book

Airbus’ first objective was to communicate to a small audience of high-profile decisionmakers.

After talking to the brand and understanding their goals, we developed ‘Above and Beyond’ – an aspirational campaign that embodied the brand’s commitment to pushing the UK sector further. We decided the best way to tell the Above and Beyond story was with a coffee table book, which would unite projects and people from across this large, complex organisation.

We carried out in-depth interviews with some very interesting people about some very cool projects – from a mission to orbit the sun to an advanced satellite that will help us better understand Earth’s forests.

These interviews became six inspiring stories, paired with specially commissioned portrait photography of Airbus team members in their facilities to root everything in the UK. Words and pictures were bound together in a high-quality book with a design inspired by the company’s advanced spacecraft materials.

The Above and Beyond book was given to key decision makers at Airbus’s ‘Eyes on Space’ event. It was at once a valuable gift, a talking point, and a great piece of detailed marketing. A lasting piece of collateral.

The films

Another touchpoint in the Above and Beyond campaign was a suite of films, primarily to be used as part of a bid. We wanted the brand to get real value out of this content, so we designed each film to work for both space sector experts and a general audience. Airbus could then use the content in detailed bids or as social media content.

Airbus scientists and facilities were at the heart of each film. We built on the look and feel of our Above and Beyond book by filming interviews on-site at the company’s facilities in Stevenage and Portsmouth. The films were edited together into a tight social media package, with a unified intro and outro that made them into a connected series.

We challenged the usual style of Airbus videos with a fresh and more playful approach, which worked well for our audiences without undercutting the expertise involved, or the seriousness of the topics.

The virtual event

In its role as a UK space sector leader, Airbus has a vital role helping British SMEs to thrive. The brand’s ‘Open Innovation Space’ initiative aims to nurture those SME relationships, bringing new companies into spacecraft construction and creating high-value jobs across the country.

In 2020, Open Innovation Space faced a problem. An initiative like this can only thrive when its members can get together, and the coronavirus pandemic threatened to stop that.

To keep the momentum going, Ivory created an elevated virtual event for Airbus that enabled rich two-way discussions with SMEs interested in Open Innovation Space.

We created a bespoke portal for the event, rich with content, information, and downloadable assets. The virtual event itself included a plenary and moderated Q&A, which mixed live and pre-recorded elements to ensure reliability while keeping the vitality of a live experience.

Ivory handled all design and production of the virtual event, while also providing speaker support to elevate Airbus’ presentations. Open Innovation Space was well attended by an influential audience that represented 77% of all who registered. New relationships were forged, and mutually beneficial partnerships strengthened.

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