In June 2022, Flow Communications had the privilege of being hired to create awareness of the launch of the Air Côte d’Ivoire route between Johannesburg and Abidjan.
The airline’s vision is to offer the fastest route between South Africa and Côte d’Ivoire by any airline in Africa.
During the Ivorian-South Africa economic forum in December 2021, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said the West African nation is an attractive investment and trade destination for South African companies, and that African countries have the ability to fully reap the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area if they work together.
“Côte d’Ivoire is a strategic trading partner for South Africa, and there is tremendous potential to further increase trade in value-added products between our two countries,” he said.
The airline approached Flow to assist with informing the public about the new route.
“The timing of the launch tied in well with renewed diplomatic relations between Côte d’Ivoire and South Africa, which will bolster business relations between the two counties,” says Flow’s public relations lead on the project, Daya Coetzee.
Flow played a key role in the launch of the route by undertaking a number of tasks, including handling media relations, and organising an influencer campaign as well as a launch event on behalf of Air Côte d’Ivoire.
“It was a wonderful experience doing public relations for the launch of Air Côte d’Ivoire’s new route between Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire and Johannesburg (via Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo),” says Daya.
The talented team at Flow managed to secure great media coverage in numerous travel and business publications.
“There was a lot of media interest and we secured 40 pieces of coverage with an audience reach of almost three million in news, business and travel media,” says Daya. “The launch campaign ran over a few months and included a couple of media releases, an event with local and foreign dignitaries, and two profile pieces about successful Ivorians doing business with South Africa.”
Flow also launched an influencer campaign with some of South Africa’s leading influencers, who were tasked with posting content about the launch of the route, as well as themselves in Côte d’Ivoire.
We identified influencers to share the news about the launch of the new route from Abidjan to Johannesburg via Kinshasa; a number of them also made an appearance at the in-person launch event at the Air Côte d’Ivoire offices in Parkwood, Johannesburg.
Dignitaries in attendance at the launch event included South African Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and Ivorian Transport Minister Amadou Koné; as well as the South African ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, HE Zolani Mtshotshisa, and the Ivorian ambassador to South Africa, HE Sakaria Kone; plus Air Côte d’Ivoire chairman Abdoulaye Coulibaly and CEO Laurent Loukou, and the directors of the South African and Ivorian airport authorities.
“It was such a fantastic experience working with an international client on this launch. We were aligned throughout the process, all bringing unique viewpoints and expertise to the campaign. Remote working has really made this possible, as it was easy to communicate on WhatsApp and via video meetings when required, and then to be present at the Air Côte d’Ivoire offices in Parkwood for the launch event,” says Gail Tanner, the project manager on the account.
The use of Google Ads also assisted in the success of the launch campaign, as well as good design.
“I designed the animated social media banners, Google Ads banners and printed roll-up banners to promote the new route ... to join our two countries,” says Flow UX (user experience) designer Cara Wares.
“I created a look and feel with their brand corporate identity and the theme of Africa being open for business. When designing and animating a route map to show all the countries they fly to in their region and the new South African route, I used the blues, greens and orange colours from the countries’ flags and the airline’s brand to create cohesion across the different channels for the launch artwork.”
Overall the launch of the route was a success, and Flow is proud to have had the opportunity to be part of an initiative that will enhance Africa’s interconnectedness and economic growth.