When the world talks about precision, it has to bring Germany into it. Be it in their approach to design or engineering, precision and perfection is something we take as a given in things that come from the country. And when it talks about food and culture, India is sure to top the list. So when an Indian travels to US in a German airline, he isn’t expecting to be welcomed to a variety of Indian fare and films.

Lufthansa, the German airlines wanted to change that perception. Last month it launched a TVC specifically made for the Indian market – ‘More Indian than you think’, a first for the airline globally. An extension of Lufthansa’s ‘Nonstop You’ campaign launched in 2012, the new film aimed to reflect the ‘Soul of Germany, with the heart of India’ and let the customers know that there is a touch of India at every step of their journey – be it in hospitality, inflight meals or entertainment.

Conceptualised by MRM//McCann India and Kolle Rebbe Germany, the 46-second commercial features Aryan and his grandfather indulging in a talk about the Germans, as the duo will soon board a flight on Lufthansa to meet Aryan’s dad. The grandfather is a bit apprehensive about the journey because he thinks that the Germans are serious folks who have never heard of Bollywood. But, these perceptions change onboard.

For starters, they are greeted with a ‘Namaste!’ and treated to an Indian menu followed by a Bollywood film. This surprises Aryan who believes they have taken the wrong flight, but is calmed down by his grandfather who realises that the German airline is more Indian than he thinks.

The TVC and the idea behind it was then shared on multiple channels. Innovative banners on the web, mobile banners (on smartphones and tablets , contests on Facebook and a special responsive microsite as well, which has been launched in vernacular too (including Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati and Kannada).

The microsite, apart from featuring the ad, also talks about what you can expect onboard in terms of in-flight entertainment, food, etc. A section ‘Lufthansa & India’ shares facts about the airlines history in India and its association over the last 50 years of serving India. The microsite provides a link to booking your flights too.

A Facebook contest by the same name was hosted on an app on the Lufthansa India Facebook page that featured the TVC. One had to watch it and answer questions based on it to stand a chance to win branded Lufthansa T-shirts. Besides, on the occasion of Indian Independence Day, it hosted the ‘Celebration quiz’ on a Facebook app.

Bonding with Indians

India is an important market for Lufthansa. The airlines has been trying to bring the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, to begin flights to India by 2014, as per a Reuters report. The time is just ripe for its first India-specific television commercial, that also serves to strengthen its bond with the country where television is still the largest medium.

‘More Indian than you think’ has hit the right chords when it comes to changing perceptions about the airlines. The microsite with support to vernacular languages further adds to its Indian appeal. Giving away branded T-shirts with simple contests enables more ad views and people to participate. Perhaps it is time for the airlines to begin engaging Indians on more social networks and screen sizes!