VietJet Air, the Vietnamese, privately owned airline, has aroused a considerable public controversy over breaking old-fashioned images of Vietnamese stewardesses in traditional “Ao Dai” since its launch of its “marketing weapon” of dressing up flight attendants in sexy bikini outfits.
Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, the VietJet Air CEO, came up with her unique idea of having “dancing bikini models” to mark her airline brand in Vietnam with the motto ““Enjoy Flying”. The 45-year-old woman was determined that her brand stands for something “creative, modern and energizing which could not be found in any existing Vietnamese airline brand regardless of public criticism”.
Thanks to Thao’s marketing strategy, the company has grabbed more than 30% of Vietnam’s airline market share in just a few years against much larger competitors, like Vietnam Airlines.
VietJet Air’s attention grabbing and sometimes-controversial advertising and marketing activities, as well as providing cheap flights have created an outstanding image for the VietJet Air brand in the market in comparison to advertising and marketing by the traditional Vietnamese airlines.
The airline holds a special attraction to those who wants to experience a different atmosphere on planes and as a result, VietJet Air has become the biggest competitor of Vietnam Airline – the state-owned airline with the highest market share in Vietnam’s aviation arena.
Ms. Thao’s wealth is expected to balloon to $1.37 billion USD when the privately owned airline goes public later this year. “We don’t mind people associating the airline with the bikini image. If that makes people happy, then we are happy”, she said.
This simple marketing philosophy is destined to make Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao Vietnam’s first female billionaire. As most marketers know, thinking outside of the box and creating a unique marketing idea can make your business stand out from the crowd, and it might even make you a billionaire.