American Marketer


Breitling takes jet team to the US for first North American tour

April 27, 2015

Breitling Jet Team 185 Breitling's jet team


Swiss watchmaker Breitling is sharing its skills with U.S. consumers by taking the Breitling Jet Team to the United States for the first time as part of its 2015 North American Tour.

The team recently completed its first performance in the U.S. at the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & Expowith in Lakeland, Florida, where they showed off a number of impressive feats. Expanding promotions such as the Breitling Jet Team internationally can ensure that a brand remains relevant in today’s global economy.

"The Breitling Jet Team has toured over 36 countries together but never the United States and Canada, so it was something we wanted to do for a long time," said Jacques Bothelin, Breitling Jet Team leader. "There are so many people here who love aviation, and it is a thrill to be able bring our performance to North America for the first time.

"Our goal is to share the thrill of flying and aviation with as many people as possible on our tour around the country. Hopefully we will inspire those watching to become pilots themselves."

Jet set

The Breitling Jet Team was established in 2003 with the goal of sharing aerobatics, the art of creative aircraft flying, with a larger audience. Aerobatics is performed recreationally or competitively as entertainment and often involves complex flying maneuvers in which a pilot displays his skill.

Breitling’s team currently has nine members who have been flying together for many years. The team is the largest professional flight team that performs on jets in the world, and they regularly attend airshows and events around Europe and the Middle East.

Aerobatics often highlights precise flying, complex formations and artistic performances. During the recent Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & Expowith, Breitling’s team performed the Ocean Master Wave and the Blackbird formation, along with other maneuvers.

While the team has performed in more than 36 countries around the world, they have never performed in the U.S. or Canada. Including these countries in the most recent tour will expand Breitling’s reach to more consumers and increase publicity for the brand in this significant commercial area.

Breitling’s Jet Team is an example of how a brand can use creative projects to gain publicity and connect with consumers. While the team does not actively advertise Breitling’s timepieces, it does affirm the brand’s commitment to aviation and publicize the brand to potential consumers.

It is especially important for brands to expand projects internationally in today’s global economy. Neglecting a particular country or geographical area can have significant consequences for the brand worldwide.

Breitling’s decision to bring its jet team to the U.S. will likely help the brand increase publicity among American consumers.

Up, up and away

Breitling has previously publicized its commitment to aviation as a way of reminding consumers about the intricate work that goes into its timepieces. The Swiss watchmaker also used its history of aviation as a way to interact with enthusiasts on social media.

The watchmaker’s latest social endeavour invited followers on its Facebook to book a flight with the Breitling Jet Team, made up of professional civilian aviators. Due to Breitling’s association with pilots and aviation, offering enthusiasts an experiential opportunity aligns with the watchmaker’s codes (see story).

Breitling has also introduced other campaigns in the United States, targeting an important demographic of consumers. In 2011, the Swiss watchmaker celebrated the United States’ armed forces with a limited edition American Tribute Watch, of which only 50 were produced.

The brand donated all proceeds from the American Tribute Watch to the Fisher House, a military-oriented charity. The watch was sold only in New York and Florida (see story)

Breitling's Jet Team will further expand the brand's presence in the U.S. and make more consumers aware of its products.

"Breitling has long since been known as the official supplier to aviation, and sharing our performances with North American audiences really brings that to life," Mr. Bothelin said. "With over 20 performances, hopefully many people will have a better understanding of Breitling and its dedication to supporting aviation and aviation heritage."

Final Take
Kay Sorin, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York