Jennifer Aniston in a Bathrobe (the New Emirates Commercial!)

In August it was reported that Emirates paid Jennifer Aniston $5 million in an endorsement deal.

This comes on the heels of Etihad featuring Nicole Kidman. To me these both trump Turkish Airlines using Kevin Costner.

The first Aniston ad is out, and the conceit is that she’s having a nightmare. She’s walking around the plane looking for the shower, in her bathrobe (it seems like she should have been in her Emirates pajamas?). But there’s no shower, and no on board bar.

Because she’s not flying Emirates. But then, fortunately, she wakes up in her suite. She goes to the bar and has a cocktail. And she asks the bartender if maybe the plane can just keep flying around a little longer because it’s so darned awesome.

What do you think?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Typo…. First sentence, 3rd paragraph.

    “The first Aniston ad is out, and the conceit is that she’s “

  2. First of all, it’s not a commercial for Emirates as an airlines but a commercial for it’s First Class cabin – unless they installed showers in Economy as well.

    Secondly, they’re basically telling us that anyone who flies Emirates First Class is a spoiled snob who believes it’s a nightmare to fly with any airlines which doesn’t offer him a shower and a bar.

    Now, I’m not trying to say Emirates First Class is not a great product, though I’m not a fan of the design, but I think this commercial is a mistake.

  3. Well the bar is in the back of business class (though first class passengers can use it, and they’ll gladly get first class liquor for you to drink while there).

    I’ve made the point many times in the past that they sue first class to create a ‘halo effect’ over the rest of their modest product.

  4. How horrible
    I recently awoke on my flight in a premium cabin and there was no shower in First class 🙁
    Does anyone feel sorry for my tough life?
    The folks from Emirates are true heroes

  5. There are many things to complain about regarding service on US airlines, but a shower isn’t one of them. It’s obviously an un-economic gimmick.

    From a practical standpoint, who is the ad supposed to appeal to? Really rich spoiled people who need an in-flight shower? How many such people are there in the world that you’d pay a movie star big bucks to cut a commercial for them?

    Of course, due to the billions in gov’t subsidies, Emirates does many, many things (including showers!) that make no economic sense, so you can just add this one to the list.

  6. @iahphx as i’ve said, it is supposed to make emirates look luxurious — not to the people who buy first class tickets and get showers, but to the people who then associate emirates with quality and buy their business class and even economy tickets. that’s called marketing. 😉

  7. @Gary — Yeah, I know that “warm glow” marketing theory. But could you imagine AA paying Paris Hilton big bucks to cut a commercial noting how her pooch can travel in his own compartment in first class on AA’s new A321T aircraft from NY to LA?

    I can’t imagine that expenditure, and I certainly don’t think it would be a good marketing effort.

  8. @iahphx You forget that last year AA was paying Neil Patrick Harris and Julianna Margulies to promote that very A321T aircraft! (and yesterday paid for a wraparound ad on the front page of the LA Times to promote premium service at LAX). I believe AA spent over $100mm on marketing in 2014, and that figure is lower than in the previous 2 years.

  9. @Gary — Right, but those AA print ads (a fraction of the price of running a TV commercial) were designed to get folks in NYC and LA to ACTUALLY BUY the premium service. I think the campaign was valuable because, let’s face it, nobody who regularly flies in the USA thinks they’re going to get true premium service on a domestic flight. So if you’re going to offer something unusual and special, you’d better let your target customers know it exists. Now, I suppose AA would hope that there’s some “glow” from this product that washes over the barebones service they offer in the back, but that was certainly not the intention of the ads.

    In contrast, I think even you’d agree that Anniston isn’t going to sell a lot of first class seats with her shower ad. It’s clearly a brand-building effort. And in typical Middle-East airline fashion, it’s also clearly a “me too” effort where no ridiculous expense by your competitor goes unmatched: if Etihad has Nicole Kidman, Emirates “needs” Jennifer Aniston.

    BTW, I saw that front-page ad that AA just ran in the LA Times and I thought it was brilliant. Very eye-catching. I think the Dallas newspaper airline blog has a picture. LA is obviously a very important and very competitive “target” market for the new AA, and spending ad money wisely there makes a lot of sense. Given the personalities/management types, though, I guarantee you that Doug Parker has a very different approach to ad spending than Emirates (aka, he’s frugal)!

  10. @iahphx the thing about Emirates brand building is that it WORKS, people believe Emirates is a better product despite 10-abreast 777 seating and plenty of angled business seats.

  11. totally with @flyingout on this one. I think the ad is immature in it’s message and could actually backfire if not only NOT encourage flyers to ASPIRE to get to Emirates First Class..its’ denigrating.

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