Mother Russia is often heavily scrutinised for its controversial and sexually orientated marketing tactics… by our prudish western standards anyhow. It’s the point of the creative teams in marketing to constantly push the envelope of a perceived social standard – and it works! Russia’s going through one of those sex-soaked stages of marketing where people won’t notice an advert unless they can get a free fix of porn.
These calendar photos of Aeroflot’s scantily clad cabin crew have leaked their way onto the internet. I use the term ‘leaked’ loosely because, if I was running the campaign, I would also probably release a few previews of the pictures to leverage some interest in my brand and generate some free viral exposure (particularly at a time when my competitors are doing the same thing). The calendars will reportedly be sent to members of an airline ‘VIP loyalty program’.
Warning: Moderate adult content
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Adult content is nothing new to airlines (in fact, it’s decidedly old) and creative teams seem to be in a mad rush to constantly outdo whatever controversial campaign preceded them. Aeroflot have succeeded – assuming their campaign was orientated around a ‘shock factor’ – since their images are a little more explicit than most… so much so that many of the pictures are what you would come to expect from a girly-mag (not that I would know, of course). It’s unapologetic full-frontal nudity so, if you have the kids nearby, you might want to wait until you’re alone before blowing them up full size. Aeroflot is best known for its Vodka motivated in-flight debauchery; so all they have to do it play some rock-and-roll over the PA system and we have a serious sex-romp for the simple price of a ticket. Of course, in Russia, a ticket, even on a low cost carrier, costs four and half years wages (every time I think of a LCC in Russia an Angel loses its wings).
If these images were in fact intentionally leaked by the airline, it was probably done to coincide with the popular Avianova TV commercial.
I personally don’t mind these types of calendars, but I do strongly believe that marketing agencies have to consider their ethical responsibility when it comes to delivering invasive content that is morally questionable – despite the virally orientated advantages. As a VIP calendar, I hope Aeroflot carefully considers their distribution list. Ironically, I’m here publishing the same pictures. Like I said, some marketers don’t have ethics.
I wouldn’t find the content offensive if Aeroflot sent a copy my way… but I would probably be offended if they sent it to me because they thought I would enjoy it. In other words, I don’t want them to assume I’m a perve – even though their assumption may prove correct.
If airlines spent as much time trying to outdo their competitors as they do into engineering a new and innovative campaign we might actually end up with something entertaining.
I should really look at putting together a calendar like this myself for my own airline… or at least take the pictures.