It is well known that Ryanair is synonymous with low cost in the minds of consumers. His advertising motto might be “Say good, say bad, as long as you talk about me.” With a communication budget reduced to a minimum, Ryanair has been very inventive in recent years to get people talking about it, most often through controversial outbursts. Back to 5 examples of com stunts made in Ryanair, among the most shocking of recent years.
- First publicity stunt: the pay toilet hoax
- A good Ryanair com hit goes through crude language
- Ryanair’s goal: to stand out “at all costs”
- Who says presidential elections says coup de com!
- Covid-19 or not, Ryanair does its bit of communication
Ryanair has not only used its low prices to promote itself. Indeed, the airline very quickly adopted a bold attitude in its communication strategy. And in this little game, Michael O’Leary is a real expert in cheap publicity. In 2009, the CEO had fun making the press believe that his company was going to make the best and most affordable ghostwriting agency on its planes.
It will only be a few days later that he will admit the deception. Thirteen years ago, the general manager of the airline, therefore, made the first splash. All of Ryanair’s communication services will continue this tradition to this day.
O’Leary will quip on the subject of pay toilets: “a visionary new strategy and a marvelous idea”.
A good Ryanair com hit goes through foul language
In 2011, the tabloid press sold many prints on the natural needs of Gérard Depardieu. The case has taken place with a competing company, it was therefore an opportunity not to be missed for Ryanair. This time, the publicity stunt is based on a play on words: “pissing on the competition”.
Like the actor, the company sees itself as relieving its customers by reminding them of its low prices. Furthermore, we note that the company’s pricing strategy has remained the same for years now. Its main competitive advantage is indeed to be financially accessible to all!
Britain’s advertising regulator is used to receiving reports of Ryanair publicity stunts. It is indeed one of the most problematic companies in the United Kingdom, at this level. In 2012, a Ryanair advertisement denigrating Thomas Cook, and predicting that it would soon go bankrupt, was banned in the UK. We can then legitimately ask ourselves about:
- The interest of such an approach: as mentioned in the introduction, the Irish company considers that there is no bad publicity. In short, all means are good to talk about yourself.
- Ryanair’s brand image: by adopting this posture, the structure is positioning itself as a disruptive player in the airline market. It practices disruption through price as well as provocative and new communication.
Ryanair is used to provocative publicity stunts. The low-cost company’s Twitter account was the scene of several publicity stunts during the November 2020 US elections. The least we can say is that some tweets were quite… inappropriate. Judge instead.
First, on November 5, 2021, Ryanair’s Twitter account dropped a tweet that could be described as politically incorrect. It shows a screenshot of Eric Trump, son and trusted adviser to the current President of the United States, at what looks like a rally. The comment predicts the defeat of the Trump camp and the return to the use of commercial lines instead of Air Force One. This is without counting of course on the private planes of Donald Trump Senior.
Finally, in this other tweet, the community manager of Ryanair openly mocks the predictions made by Donald Junior on the result of the vote. Piece of communication
We will end this list of examples of publicity stunts with this tweet from December 13, 2021. On the official Ryanair account, we find an example of community management with fairly daring timing. In the midst of a pandemic and Party gate scandal, Ryanair is doing its joke to lighten the mood. The company then has fun comparing the Novel Ghostwriter protocols specific to everyone to the “festive protocols” of 10 Downing Street. The remark is even quite vulgar in certain passages of the tweet in question.
In short, social networks are a godsend for Ryanair and its way of communicating. Indeed, their provocative, vulgar, offbeat tone finds its audience on Twitter, for example. In November 2022, more than 670,000 accounts subscribe to the company page!