KLM’s Tile & Inspire Campaign Tops Creativity Ranks within the Airline Industry

Many airlines contributed a lot to social media tools in the recent past, many new and innovative projects – some of them received enormous attention – were executed but very few was so adept at making passengers play along with it. KLM has made the most ‘receiving’ social media act among airlines – and also other companies in many sorts of industries – and this clearly receives attention and applause from the rest of the world.

It has been a couple of months since KLM first launched the project which made every fan of social media wanting to participate. The first invitation was to Facebook users to convert their Facebook profile picture into a Delft Blue tile with an inspiring message. Four thousand of the most inspiring ‘Dutch Delft Blue tiles’ were to be placed on the body of a KLM Boeing 777-200. As KLM suggested: “KLM is proud of its Dutch heritage, in which Delftware played a huge role. Now KLM invites you to create your own Delft Blue tile, add an inspirational saying and you might end up on the body of a KLM Boeing 777-200.”

Delft Blue tiles are part of the Dutch tradition. The porcelain tiles were decorated with typically Dutch scenes, such as windmills or fishing boats. These Dutch scenes were commonly supported by some words of wisdom or an inspirational proverb. For nearly 60 years, KLM has also handed out small Delft Blue ceramic replicas of historical Dutch houses filled with Dutch ‘genever’ to passengers in Business Class.

The emphasis of KLM’s ‘Tile & Inspire’ campaign was on Facebook, it was open to non-Facebook users via  tileyourself.com and Hyves, the largest social network in the Netherlands. The campaign ran until the end of May 2011 and the tiles with the most creative messages were selected by a designated jury. The final 4,000 Delft Blue tiles were randomly drawn out of the selected tiles and are now featured on a KLM B777-200 aircraft which started on June 16th. See this video for more on the campaign.

The campaign was so successful that KLM received more than 50.000 personal Delft blue tiles only within two weeks. The tiles look like this from up-close.


KLM’s ‘Tile & Inspire’ campaign is a fun example of trendwatching.com’s ‘gravanity’ trend: “As Warhol predicted with his ‘15 minutes of fame’, hundreds of millions of individuals are craving immortality, or at least some public attention. Whether it’s blogging or adorning your car with personalized license plates, the masses want their names out there, even if just for a moment. This is where graffiti meets vanity to form ‘gravanity’.”

And, to close this post in style, here is the final, dressed-up version of the aircraft and a short clip prepared by the very creative KLM Team.

I wish that they continue their innovative day of thinking as this brings inspiration to the whole airline industry.


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