KLM: Personal Space Experiment

KLM introduces their new and improved Europe Business Class. The most important new asset is ‘personal space’. To prove the human need for this personal space KLM conducted a social experiment. Using candid camera.

Advertising Agency: DDB (RAPP) Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Creative Directors: Robin Pas, Alfred Petrie
Art Director: Joost van Middelaar
Copywriter: Sander van de Vlasakker

February 2011


vidya.shankaran's picture
724 pencils

Would they charge me for the unfilled chair next to me if I requested for one?

samo151's picture
4 pencils

No if you are traveling in business class.

CuriousPencil's picture
4225 pencils

The text on the poster at 0:48 translates as 'if you win, you also win friends', an accidental(?) free ad for purported gameshow 'Friends Lottery'..

But to the ad...

Pretty sure it was EDWARD T. Hall, not Albert, who studied personal space, and nowhere did he mention "The Victim".

I was going to give a little clap to the thinking behind KLM's excuse for empty flights: "We MEANT it to be empty - these seats are for YOU", but it's such a sloppy ad, using footage of people being uncomfortable, that I don't feel generous. So I'll just laugh at your research instead, and since it's a Dutch agency, this:

Echt slecht, jongens. Misschien was het iets met vertaling, of hebben jullie nog een reden achter so een shit idee zonder research?

CuriousPencil's picture
4225 pencils

Further: do KLM have no female business travellers? Why is there only a man encroaching in the personal space of other men? HOW much nonsense do you expect your audience to suck up? Do the same 'experiment' (since you're insisting on the pretence of research, and (unforgivably incorrectly) referencing a social anthropologist)) with a gorgeous woman and show us the results. No? Didn't think so.

Go back to the white swans. At least we could like them. This is dross, dreck, onzin.

thedesignaddict's picture
5403 pencils

Watch it again. There's a woman there.

CuriousPencil's picture
4225 pencils

Well technically there are 6; the researcher sat beside one of them, the others were in the background, but okay, I missed the blonde woman running from the creepy guy. Was she thinking about personal space or personal safety?

thedesignaddict's picture
5403 pencils

I like the the simple illustration of the insight. Funny, memorable, and relevant to KLM's proposition.

Ads.chinaSMACK's picture
271 pencils

Hmm where to's very dutch. The "experiment" was a waste of time, everyone wants their personal space to be respected.

Leaving seats empty on a plane, is the most ridiculous / uneconomical / unenvironmentally idea i have heard in a long time. I just don't see how this would work for KLM.

Advertising @ chinaSMACK

samo151's picture
4 pencils

Leaving empty seats on a plane is common practice at European airlines. That's because in Europe, business class usually mean that you are seated in seats that are same as economy, but middle seat is empty. Plus you have better service on ground and in the air, of course.

AdBuzzer's picture
1168 pencils

I'm sure some people are willing to pay more in order to have this extra personal space onboard. It's just so human, not even an insight.

morse's picture
17183 pencils

Surprisingly interesting to watch, but I would've taken it further even if we're talking to businessman.

.. / .-.. --- ...- . / .- -.. ...- . .-. - .. ... .. -. --.

dean viii's picture
dean viii
1686 pencils

Thanks for the brilliant insight. (sarcasm font)

Glut's picture
3937 pencils

good, perhaps I would've taken it further.

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