Interview: Scoot Airlines - Scaling Up Advertising with Bannerflow
5 min read

Interview: Scoot Airlines - Scaling Up Advertising with Bannerflow

Scoot is a Singapore-based low-cost airline that operates as a fully-owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines. Since its establishment on June 4, 2012, the airline has been offering medium and long-haul flights to various destinations across the Asia-Pacific region at affordable prices. Scoot's catchy slogan "Because Travel Deserves Better" encourages travellers to demand more from their travel experience regardless of pricing.

The partnership with Bannerflow, starting in 2022, marked a significant shift in Scoot's digital advertising strategy. It seems that the feeling is mutual, as Scoot has expressed they “couldn’t imagine a world without Bannerflow.” We spoke with Stephanie Awyong, Head of Brand, Social & Performance Marketing at Scoot, about the history of this successful collaboration.

Scoot is the budget airline subsidiary of Singapore Airlines. How does it differ from its parent company?

Scoot’s mission is accessible travel for everyone. Our operations are mainly focused on the Asia Pacific region, particularly Southeast Asia, where we serve various destinations in major cities of Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, India, and China. While Singapore Airlines caters to cities like Beijing and Shanghai, we fill in the gaps by connecting other tier 2 cities, like Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Tianjin, and Qingdao.

And how does Scoot differentiate itself from other budget carriers in the Asia Pacific region?

We prioritise value: you choose what you need without paying for extras. Safety is paramount: our planes are meticulously maintained, with an average fleet age of 7 years, well below the industry standard. Our pilots and crew undergo the same rigorous training as those of Singapore Airlines, and our planes are serviced by them too. So we prioritise customer satisfaction, regardless of the price paid.

How is the airline industry's landscape particularly in APAC?

It is extremely competitive, vast and varied, so we must be agile. The markets here are quick and sensitive to change, whether geopolitical, seasonal, or trends.

How has Bannerflow impacted the volume and scale of Scoot’s ad campaigns? 

Before Bannerflow, we were doing time-consuming solutions manually, trying various options such as Google Studio, DCO, and Google Web Design. With Bannerflow, the volume has increased a lot. Let’s quantify this: we only had one monthly always-on campaign for Singapore, and 4 image sizes for a banner. Now we have always-on campaigns in 9 markets they can change whenever they want, with up to 7 banner sizes. So we've started looking at things and projects that we have always wanted to work on, such as dashboard building for campaign tracking and utilising first-party data.

How do you manage to maintain brand consistency?

Our creative agency works on a master version in Bannerflow, then our in-house team takes that template and scale. This helps us maintain brand consistency across regions and languages, go to market faster and elevate our creatives according to data. 

And how does Bannerflow facilitate collaboration within your markets and with external partners?

In our price-sensitive industry, we occasionally offer tactical sales, responding to competitor moves or sudden market demand shifts, like when China and Singapore reinstated visa-free entry. In these cases, we need agile responses. We can't wait five days to update banners. We swiftly adjust copy, visuals or price points to stay competitive. Then we check out the results and see the best way forward. With Bannerflow, we can now effortlessly launch and tweak tactical promotions as needed, a task that was impossible with our manual methods. This means we no longer miss out on potential sales.

Can you quantify the reduction in time spent on manual adaptations since Scoot started using Bannerflow?

We would spend one-day creating banners, another submitting them, 3-4 days for trafficking, and another for previewing. Any changes mean another day before they're ready. By then, the sale's often over. Bannerflow eliminates all this manual work. With a clear campaign objective, both the creative team at Scoot and the publishing team could focus solely on what needed to be delivered. This allowed for a smaller, soft launch to ensure everything ran smoothly before a broader rollout, which was crucial given the size of the team and the volume of assets produced.

Before Bannerflow, the team used a combination of two applications, specifically ‘Adobe Illustrator’ and ‘Google Web Design’, to create our DV/HTML Banners. Each element had to be created on separate layers exported out and imported to Google Web Design. From there, we can start animating the banners. Each banner size must be animated separately and the final product will then be exported again as a ZIP file. This process is very time-consuming as each banner size must be individually created.

Bannerflow streamlines the banner creation and publishing process by consolidating it onto a single platform. Importing, creating, and animating can all be done in one size and synced with the rest of the sizes, making the workflow more efficient.

Using our Always-On banners as an example, each Point-of-Sale (POS) typically has at least 5 sizes. By duplicating this set for the other 18 POSes, the team can edit text and images on one size and sync changes across all sizes. This process significantly reduces editing time compared to Google Web Design, where each step must be repeated for each size individually. Overall, Bannerflow's efficiency likely saves us at least half the time compared to Google Web Design.

In what ways has the creative process at Scoot been transformed since the introduction of Bannerflow?

Before Bannerflow, HTML5 banners weren't an option simply because it took too much time and it would not have been an efficient use of resources. This limited our ability to showcase multiple flight destinations in a single ad. We were stuck with static banners, each featuring just one destination. With over 50 destinations on sale, we aimed to include at least three in each ad. Now we've already produced. Now we've already produced 9900 creatives shared in 2100 sets in total.

Bannerflow's online platform allows the entire team to access and make instant changes, with updates reflected live upon publication. Without Bannerflow, we likely would have created only half or a third of this number.

What are the primary advertising platforms used by Scoot, and how has Bannerflow enabled you to meet best practices on each of these platforms? 

We utilise Google DV 360 as our primary platform for banner distribution. One of the standout advantages of integrating with Bannerflow has been the flexibility to make real-time adjustments on live campaigns, proving to be a significant advantage. Additionally, the ability to effortlessly generate various banner sizes has been a highly valued feature. Scoot typically runs between 6-8 campaigns per market each month. With Bannerflow, the duplication of templates allows for scalable management, a feat that wouldn't have been achievable otherwise. Moreover, we've begun utilising Bannerflow for animated assets on our social platforms, giving us more options for creative optimisation and campaign flighting. 

When assessing the effectiveness of your advertising efforts, what specific metrics do you prioritise to measure success? 

For brands, the primary KPIs often revolve around conversion rates, emphasising the actual number of sales generated. Then, metrics related to brand awareness such as reach and impressions play a significant role in evaluating success. A larger presence brings great satisfaction to our internal departments. Our sales campaigns, happening 4 times a year across all 18 markets, along with other promotions, used to be a logistical nightmare due to different prices and destinations. Thanks to Bannerflow, they're now more impactful, sparing our designers from chaos.

Could you discuss the return on investment (ROI) that Scoot has observed since integrating Bannerflow into its marketing strategy?

Sales campaigns have experienced a gradual increase in return on ad spend (ROAS) from day one. This improvement is attributed to a consistent presence and enhanced brand recall across multiple markets. Adopting a multi-campaign strategy enables Scoot to maintain visibility and build consumer trust effectively.

How does Scoot plan to evolve its marketing strategies using Bannerflow in the coming years? 

We want to try everything that is on the platform that hasn’t been used yet, and our Designers have been tasked with providing ideas on what can be added. Getting an understanding of what people are searching for and how to serve ads based on these insights, showing up in a more personalised way, for example by utilising the platform’s DCO capabilities.

Describe the learning curve for the marketing team at Scoot when adopting Bannerflow. How intuitive was the platform to use?

The learning curve for Bannerflow is minimal, as its operation closely resembles Adobe software familiar to our team. Though occasional bugs arise, we effectively resolve them with Bannerflow's assistance. Our new designer quickly grasped Bannerflow after one walkthrough and even our brand team finds the platform user-friendly.

What advice would Scoot give to other companies in the airline industry considering adopting a tool like Bannerflow? 

We don’t want our competitors to know about Bannerflow, since our monthly outputs have significantly increased in both efficiency and agility as a result of our cooperation. The return far surpasses the initial investment, aiding in scaling operations and streamlining functionality. Bannerflow is a lifesaver, simplifying our operations and making them more manageable.

Thank you so much for the great talk.



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