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Memories Are Made Of This: Alitalia Gets Branding ‘Al Dente’ With New Campaign

Alitalia Campaign Vivi, Ama, Vola


Alitalia has revealed its new “Made Of Italy” campaign, a sensory journey through all the richness of Italy delivered exclusively by the airline.

The television spot premiered at the Nazionale Spazio Eventi in Rome, where Alitalia also held a special runway show revealing its new crew uniform collection, and a press conference reporting on its progress.

The emotive commercial is an inspiring tour of everything Italy can offer visitors, and also reflects the flagship airline’s renewed vitality and optimism for the future.

Vivi, Ama, Vola.

The new commercial celebrates the Alitalia of today, committed to excellence in all areas of operations and customer experience.

As Cramer Ball, Alitalia’s CEO, explains:

“The Alitalia of today, as a national symbol, is imbued with the finest qualities for which this country is famous. It..presents the best of Italy and the importance that the country enjoys on the world stage.”

For Alitalia’s employees and the Italian people it’s a celebration of the airline’s renewed strength and extended reach. It is also a heartfelt and warm invitation extended to the world to visit Italy and experience everything the country has to offer in arts, culture, cuisine, style, and natural beauty.

Filming took place over a span of two weeks of video and photo shoots in various locations, including Alitalia’s hub at Rome’s Fiumicino airport and onboard its aircraft.

Photographic assets were produced at studios in Milan. The airline commissioned fashion photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari, including images of its new uniform collection, designed by Ettore Bilotta.

Memories Are Made Of This

As part of the campaign, Alitalia has produced a series of storytelling “Made Of” web videos of web videos revealing the skill and experience of Alitalia and its process of brand renewal through focused interviews with the airline’s industry partners, such as Poltrona Frau, Lavazza, Ettore Bilotta, diego dalla palma Milano, Cantine Ferrari, Atelier Fragranze Milano, and architect Marco Piva, who created the airline’s new ‘Casa Alitalia’ airport lounge designs.

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The Alitalia brand story is visually interpreted by director Federico Brugia, whose award-winning work includes films, music videos, and commercials.

His clients have included commercial brands BMW, Damiani, Audi, and Dolce & Gabbana, and Brugia’s music video collaborations have included stars Elton John, Malika Ayane, and the late Luciano Pavarotti.

“This short film has provided an opportunity to create a visual and emotional piece of work which connects Alitalia’s brand and vision directly with the heart and mind of the viewer,” said Brugia of the Alitalia project.

“Whether they are Italian or from elsewhere around the world, we wanted to deliver the same message, and that is one of Italian passion and culture, expressed through the experience and achievements of its airline.”

Global Vision, Modern Views

Alitalia’s new commercial campaign will be shown on TV stations around the globe in major markets like Italy, the USA, Brazil and Germany in both 60 and 30 second formats.

The airline will also feature the campaign on its social media channels, including still versions of the campaign in print, digital and outdoor channels.

Keeping up with the times, Alitalia has said it will put a “strong focus on digital channels with a strategic presence on main news portals, entertainment websites and on social networks, and on mobile devices and tablets.”

The campaign concept was created and developed by communication agency Leo Burnett Italia, part of Leo Burnett Worldwide, and part of the giant Publicis Groupe.

Starcom, which is the worldwide media agency for the Etihad Airways Partners Group, was responsible for media strategy and planning of the new Alitalia campaign.

Volare Cuore

For me, one of the most poignant moments of Alitalia Day in Rome was hearing one of my favourite songs, Volare, reinterpreted by award-winning Italian singer Malika Ayane for Alitalia.

The song frames the longing and romance of Alitalia’s new campaign as its title track.

Though Domenico Modugno’s original song is unforgettable, and Dean Martin’s cover of the song is memorable, there is something so very touching about the raw emotion of Ayane’s voice.

It was a part of Wednesday’s big event I did not record on video, simply because I was too busy floating on the notes.

It will make you homesick for Italy—even if you’ve never been. If you don’t shed a tear, check your pulse.

Home and Away

Peter Knapp, Global Chairman of Landor—which has ties to Alitalia dating back to 1950, when Walter Landor designed the airline’s iconic ‘A’ tail, and has worked with Alitalia and Etihad on brand management throughout—is a huge proponent of branding ‘home’.

‘Home’ branding is an ideal way for flagship carriers to differentiate themselves by presenting the ‘local’ experience as early in the journey as possible.

Knapp recommends imbuing the journey sensory and experiential elements that fully represent the airline’s national identity. That includes an early start with campaigns, the digital presence of the airline, the ground presence, and of course the onboard experience.

For visitors, this approach builds up the excitement of the longed-for vacation, Knapp suggests. For nationals, it is a warm welcome home.

I’ve always respected Knapp’s experience as one of the leading visionaries in this sector, but I got to experience how very right he is first hand while on my way to Rome for the Alitalia Day event this past week.

Still at the gate in Copenhagen, I heard an Italian woman boarding the aircraft tell her husband:“Finalmente siamo a casa.” Finally, we are home.

I don’t believe this was a knock to Scandinavia, rather a simple and very human relief to return to familar surroundings after an adventure abroad.

I should say that as a visitor, I sat on the plane feeling very much welcomed to Italy myself.

But when the woman spoke these words, I couldn’t help thinking of Peter Knapp and smiling.

Read more about Alitalia and Etihad’s brand harmonisation:

Alitalia and Etihad: Branding Strategies Part One, the APEX Association

EXCLUSIVE Alitalia New Uniforms Runway Show Rome

Made Of Italy: Alitalia Struts Eleganza With New Crew Uniforms in Rome

I was privileged to be invited by Alitalia to witness the launch of the airline’s new Made Of Italy campaign, and the reveal of a new collection of uniforms for cabin crew and ground crew, designed exclusively for Alitalia by Milan-based Italian haute couturier Ettore Bilotta.

Alitalia did not let the runway down on its big day in Rome. The airline displayed energy, creativity, passion, and quite bit of well-deserved pride in its roots.

So. Many. Outfits!

Click to Enlarge Gallery

Each was as elegant and impeccably tailored as the next.

The ‘Alitalia Collection’ was inspired by the glamour high-fashion 1950s and 1960s, but it is much more than that.

My design-conscious and artistic husband (an architect by training and painter by vocation) referred to them favourably as “very retro-futuristic.”

Structurally, that label fits perfectly. The lines and aesthetic of Alitalia’s crew uniforms harken back to Golden Era Glam, but the style is not just updated it is futuristic. It’s not just current, it’s enduring.

That’s not an easy balance to carry out, walking fine line between emulation and the creation of a new style which can hold its own ground.

Too much referencing of the past, and you wind up with period costume. Too much adherence to styling common now and the result is somewhat bland.

Sensual Sartorial

The cut and colours of the collection have been selected to complement the silhouettes of all, and the textiles flow with a sexy Italian elegance. A blend of 96 per cent fine Italian wool and four per cent Elastane has been used for enhanced comfort and functionality.

These uniforms are, frankly, stylish enough to wear off-duty.

Every element of the collection represents and respects Alitalia’s iconic flagship status.

Bilotta used earthy hues of red which represent Italian passion; tones of green recall the Italian countryside and the evergreen nature of Italian culture.

All materials selected were locally sourced and manufactured in Italy, including fabrics from Tuscany, silk in Como, the men’s uniforms tailored in Puglia, leather accessories from Naples and shoes from the Marche region.

Bilotta’s lines are in part inspired more by the soft structures of Italy’s landscapes than architecture, and it shows. The garments and accessories are solid, but soft-edged. They stretch when they need to and spring back to retain their form.

The hats and handbags and briefcases are perfectly luxurious. Alitalia might want to seriously consider coming up with a retail-line of limited edition accessories. These could be sold exclusively to loyalty and premium customers. I think the airline would make a bundle.

Alitalia asked the designer “to create a new style which would be timeless and enduring.”

Bilotta got the job done, and then some.

Here’s the brief on the threads:

Female cabin crew uniforms: a burgundy transforms to a lighter red through a variegated chevron print design.

Female ground crew: a charcoal grey changes to green as the chevrons gather together.

The variegated chevron is a common pattern for all garments, and features on a white blouse with chevron print columns; red for cabin crew and green for ground crew.

All women receive three outfit options: a one piece dress, a two piece jacket and skirt, and a trouser option.

Chevrons on men’s uniforms are dark charcoal grey and wood green.

A double-breasted waistcoat, in the same colour tones, is worn by all male cabin crew.

Male ground crew wear the same colour scheme, but in reverse.

Male cabin crew get a red tie to complement the red female cabin crew uniform.

Male ground crew wear a green tie to complement the green female ground crew uniform.

The stylish wool crêpe overcoats come in burgundy for female cabin crew, green for male cabin crew and female ground staff, and charcoal grey for male ground staff.

Ties, waistcoats, cardigans, scarves, belts, shoes, gloves and bags, complement the ensembles and really stand out. These are not after-thought accessories, but well thought out essential elements of the Alitalia ‘Made Of Italy’ look.

Female cabin crew get accessories in wood green. Female ground staff get burgundy accessories. All male staff get black accessories.

All 5,700 of Alitalia’s cabin and ground crew, including check-in and lounge staff, will be issued the new outfits starting this July.

Alitalia is already working on new uniform designs for flight crew and operational staff.

Ettore Bilotta was also the designer of Alitalia partner Etihad Airway’s gorgeous new uniforms revealed at the end of 2014.