Seriously, is #todayishere the new Malaysia Airlines tagline?

According to marketing magazine, the new Malaysia Airlines brand was launched with what they call ‘a new branding campaign’. Now personally I don’t think you can have a branding campaign. In my opinion that’s an oxymoron but let’s not go there for now.

Marketing magazine reported that a new hashtag #todayishere is the new tagline. A hashtag is the new tagline? Is that from MAB or is that an assumption? And besides, what does ‘todayishere’ mean? Does it mean we can simply forget about the past? And what about tomorrow? How does todayishere reassure me that it is safe for me to fly or put my kids on Malaysia Airlines?

And how is todayishere going to improve the experience of interacting with Malaysia Airlines? Does anyone know? How is anyone going to build a brand narrative around todayishere? Perhaps the agency Prophet from Hong Kong can share with us the next stage of their rebrand strategy because I want to know if there is anything else to come?

Are the crew going to be trained to represent this ‘new brand?’ What improvements have been made to the key touchpoints of the brand? How will a first time user be engaged at the booking engine? Has the broken booking engine been fixed? If not, why bother with a new hashtag/tagline/rebrand launch? Why not wait till that key component of the experience is at least working properly?

Although I don’t consider ‘todayishere’ to be a tagline, it is borderline criminal to believe you can rebrand any organisation with a tagline. Just ask the Malaysian government. Almost 2 years ago to the day, they tried to launch the Malaysia nation brand with a tagline.

But you can’t retrofit a brand around a tagline. Branding is about delivering value, at every touchpoint and at everytime and on the customers terms. It’s actually very easy, provided you start from the right place, the organisation because the organisation is the brand. Not a tagline, not a hashtag, not an ad campaign, not a campaign, not a new logo. Please, someone pass the message to the Malaysia Airlines board.

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14 thoughts on “Seriously, is #todayishere the new Malaysia Airlines tagline?

  1. Ironic that you find THIS on Prophet’s website:

    “A brand must inspire how people feel, influence how they behave, and compel them to act.”

    Now, I am going to Bangkok next week and twice in November. Not once did I even consider flying with them. I am a business traveller and I want convenience over cheap tickts, luggage allowance over cute but clueless staff…

    Remember, next is also now.

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  2. Hello Stefan

    Thanks for coming by and taking the time to comment. Do you think it’s a tagline? Or did the marketing publication get it wrong? I’d expect more from a consultancy hired from HK. Well I’d expect more from any consultancy but it’s not always their fault. We all know about difficult clients and I’m sure you’ll agree that everyone is an expert when it comes to branding.

    Malaysia Airlines is obsessed with one corporate driven message pushed out across traditional media to get new business. Even its social media campaigns are mass media on social.

    Hopefully they will eventually realise that people like you offer them more than a sale.

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    • Do I think it is a tagline. Maybe I am a bit old-fashioned, but a tagline should be, in a way, describing what the business is all about (Xeralife – Decontaminator for life You at least have SOME idea what this is about). You CAN drop the tagline if a brand is established or does not need an explanation. Malaysia Airlines is pretty obvious.

      I can see that MAS might want to break away from anything that was done before, hence the formation of the new company. But one should really look into what sets the brand and business offering apart, other than a logo.

      At least we can be happy that they don’t claim their logo is to inspire (DIGI).

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  3. Our client, Prophet, responds: “This initiative is unrelated to our work with MAB. #todayishere was an internally generated social media outreach initiative to mark the reincorporation of Malaysia Airlines to MAB only. The rest is yet to come. Christoph Mueller has publically stated this will be unveiled in the coming months.”

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  4. That’s fine. The main thing is to know that the hashtag is not being passed off as the new brand and the new brand will not revolve around a tagline or some mass economy tactic but instead will revolve around what really is required to rebrand a business.

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  5. In case you are interested, the head of digital at MAB wrote to me and I quote, “#todayishere is a social campaign, a continuation of #bettertomorrow. It’s part of our UGC campaign to get everyone to share their travel moments. the hashtag is not a tagline, it is an expression of the ‘joy of travelling’.”

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