Ryanair’s Commitment to Cheap is Priceless » The S3 Agency

Ryanair’s Commitment to Cheap is Priceless

American audiences may not be familiar with rock bottom-rate Euro skyskippers, Ryanair, but it’s high time their branding consistency gets some love. “Cheap” is tough to own and harder still to hold. A plethora of outside influences like petrol rates, declining tourism in Cyprus, and the price of seatbelt-extender fabric can harpoon all well and good intensions of offering a fairly-priced ticket from Dublin to Lyon. Keep in mind, that’s before factoring in what the Air Norways and Air Frances are scheming. Yet Ryanair is unmoved, and has multinational consumers voting with their wallets. Hell, this American flies Southwest and would fly Ryanair, too.

The logo and wordmark are blindingly unspectacular. As a livery nerd, I’m completed unfazed. The name, however, is wonderful. Notice the difference between “Ryanair” and “RyanAir” and why it was so critical they opted for the former. There’s nothing glamorous about Ryanair, this is air travel that’s more closely related to a Budapest bus than Emirates’ First Class. And who doesn’t know a Ryan? He’s a nice guy —I know at least 3 of ‘em!

There are ads on the overhead compartments. Pilots and flight crews are intentionally given ill-fitting, unflattering uniforms. Their website, while not hosted on Angelfire, features some of the most laughably low-res images on the Internet. It’s part of the gambit; we do things cheaply at Ryanair.

And finally, their PR. CEO Michael O’Leary is a foul-spitting philosopher who once tossed around the idea of making passengers pay to use the toilet on a slow news day. He doesn’t purchase media coverage, he creates it. “I should get the Nobel Peace Prize—screw Bono,” is the author’s personal favorite quip, but he’s also dropped such gems as, “The airline industry is full of bullshitters, liars and drunks. We excel at all three in Ireland,” and, “If drink sales are falling off, we get the pilots to engineer a bit of turbulence. That usually spikes sales.” Cheap laughs—it’s all brilliant. He’s the loudmouth while his fleet quietly moves the 6th most passengers in the world. Did I mention they’ve only been operating since 1985? With brand consistency trickling down from the CEO making Margaret Thatcher jokes to making passengers pay for a pack of peanuts, you can’t help but be happy for their success.

~ Chase Cambria, Jr. Copywriter and Someday-frequent-Ryanair-flyer, The S3 Agency

Chase Cambria
Chase Cambria
ccambria@thes3agency.com

<p>Jr. Copywriter @ The S3 Agency</p>

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