Fly With The Best

Turkish Airlines has come up with the best international integrated communications campaign of recent years.

Everybody’s talking about it… Turkish Airlines’ new advertising film that brings together basketball legend Kobe Bryant and record-holding footballer Leo Messi in a commercial that is nothing short of phenomenal. It has already watched by more than 100 million people and carved out a privileged niche for itself in the social media. Its success is no coincidence, nor is the film itself just a video. Behind the campaign lies a 360-degree marketing communications strategy that knows how to make effective use of celebrities. The advertising film was the first leg of the campaign. Two famous athletes with hundreds of millions of fans around the world came together in a film. The commercial, which highlights the quality of Turkish Airlines’ service, immediately went viral on the internet. With upwards of 100 million viewers, it became the most-watched video in YouTube history, attracting viewers in 222 of the world’s countries. Praised in everything from The Washington Post to Adweek and on sites like Mashable, it has been described as the most effective campaign of 2012.

The integrated communication process that began with the film is continuing now with campaign ads in all global newspapers and magazines as well as open air ads posted at airports and in city centers around the world. In conjunction with the ad, an integrated communications campaign is being waged in all the advertising media in countless cities from New York’s Times Square to Warsaw city center, from Buenos Aires and Addis Ababa to Baku and Ljubljana, and on continents from America and Europe to Asia and Africa. One of the most effective international communications campaigns in recent history, this initiative is going to be talked about for a long time to come. Come, let’s take a look at the numbers and then hear from our stars and see what they have to say about the ad...  

The Turkish Airlines commercial has turned records on the internet and in the social media topsy-turvy.
Breaking the 20 million threshold in four days, it became the most rapidly spreading video worldwide.
Watched by close to 100 million people in three weeks, the Turkish Airlines advertising film has become the most-watched ad in YouTube history.

The video has been watched on the official Turkish Airlines YouTube channel in 222 countries.
Besides appearing as a news item in papers like The Washington Post, the commercial also appeared on Mashable’s website under the headline Huge Viral Success as well as on the Social Media Frontiers blog in the ‘most talked about promotions of the week’ section.


Viewed by more than 100 million visitors, the commercial has thrust Turkish Airlines into first place on the most-watched list among airline channels on YouTube. Most of the 35 million people who viewed the film in the first week are from Europe and North America.

By December 16 #kobevemessi hashtag had been used a total of 2,081 times on Twitter and was a trending topic in Turkey on December 9. The film has been tweeted 36,770 times.

Kobe Bryant

How did you like the commercial? What is the most striking part of the commercial and the message it carries?
I enjoyed the creative process of bringing Messi and me together and really letting our competitive sides come out. I hope that the commercial highlights what an elite experience flying on Turkish Airlines can be.

The commercial was realized with the cooperation of a mixed Turkish, Dutch, Spanish and American crew. How was it to work with a crew like that?
As many of you know, I grew up in Italy, so I am very used to adapting to different languages and cultures. Getting the chance to use international cooperation to bring this commercial to life made the whole experience even better!

Did you also have any service on an airplane that surprised you the way the boy in the commercial is amazed by the ice cream service?
I was pretty excited to get ice cream on my Turkish Airlines flight, too! The great food selection really distinguishes the Turkish Airlines experience.  


Kobe’s favorite travel destination is Italy where he lived as a child. He especially likes to take his kids there to see the places where their dad grew up.

Lionel Messi
What was the most exciting and amazing part of shootings?
I had very fun making the TV commercial. It was a great experience with a very well organization workshop. I felt comfortable shooting each sequence of the commercial.

The commercial got more than 40 million hits in one week. How do you think this commercial got people’s attention?
This commercial got people’s attention because of the good job building the creative idea and because of the good production of the TV commercial. Congratulations to all the people involved on that.

How do you think this commercial will contribute Turkish Airlines brand internationally?
After being an astonishing success on YouTube, where it was viewed by millions of people, and talked about in the leading newspapers and magazines, I think it’s going to have a positive effect on the way Turkish Airlines is perceived worldwide and make a real difference.

You are now one of the Brand Ambassadors of Turkish Airlines. How do you consider this?
It is an honor to be one of the Brand Ambassadors of Turkish Airlines. Turkish has been the best European Flight company in the last years with an important worldwide increase in flying connections, so it is a big pleasure to be part of that and I will try to help Turkish Airlines in keep growing.

Turkish Airlines started flights to Buenos Aires. Do you have any recommendation for people who travel to Buenos Aires?
Buenos Aires is the biggest city of Argentina with plenty places to visit. I hope that thanks to the new direct flight Istanbul to Buenos Aires, more people will come to know Argentina.
What is the best thing about Turkish Airlines’ FC Barcelona charter flights?
All the teammates of FC Barcelona feel very well flying with Turkish Airlines. Enough space, comfortable seats and good service...


Messi’s favorite holiday spot is the Argentine town of Rosario where he was born. The famous footballer says he loves it especially because he can relax there and visit his family and old friends.