KLM – Social ‘Surprise’ Experiment

I really love this experiment by KLM. The Dutch airline decided that they wanted to conduct a social experiment which involved listening to their customers and rewarding the ones who were talking about them with small, but relevent, gifts. The result was a wonderful reaction from its customers leading to over 1 million tweets.

Over a few weeks a small team of people based themselves at Schipol airport (Holland) and watched for Tweets from people who mentioned that they were flying with KLM and already at the airport. They would then have a look at their previous tweets to find out what type of person they were, and buy them a gift which was relevent to them. For example, they gave one woman a sports band because it was obvious from her tweets that she was quite active, and another person a voucher to download apps because they noted that he had tweeted from an iPad. The hard part, it would seem, was tracking down the actual people in order to give them the gifts, but once they did they filmed the reactions so that they could make a campaign video afterwards to showcase the results.

So, why do I love this so much?:

  1. They were willing to experiment, which not many companies have the guts to do
  2. They really listened to what their customers were saying but took it one step further by rewarding them in person for their tweets, as well as letting them know that they were interested enough in them as an individual to find out about what they might like as a gift!
  3. It just goes to show that even simple low-budget campaigns like this one can have an impact, with over 1 million positive tweets about what they were doing, all showing them as a caring and personable brand

Job well done!

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