Show business jets


The Pilatus PC-24 was arguably the star of the show at EBACE 2013.

Being an original equipment manufacturer is hard. You have to balance unions, demanding customers, suppliers, shareholders and try and make a profit. And you have to decide which celebrity you want as a brand ambassador.

Bombardier really likes brand ambassadors. It has the film star John Travolta; Novak Djokovic, the world’s top tennis player; architect Frank Gehry; conductor Valery Gergiev; and Lang Lang, probably the most famous pianist playing today.

Cessna has also benefited greatly from its association with Arnold Palmer. It also sponsors various car racing teams – including a NASCAR one (Cessna estimates that about a quarter of NASCAR teams own jets).

In some industries celebrity endorsements don’t work. But the business jet market is one where they make sense. NetJets, in particular, has used people like Roger Federer and Tiger Woods to sell the benefits of private jets really well.

Celebrities guarantee that you get great coverage in the media. By using John Travolta to launch its Challenger 350, Bombardier received headlines all over the world.

Brand ambassadors also allow you to raise the quality of your product videos. If you have not yet seen Embraer’s six minute video for the Legacy 500, featuring Jackie Chan, their brand ambassador, it is very impressive and worth watching for his cameo alone.

If you are hiring a celebrity, the one rule is to make sure you pick an A-lister. If you have to explain who they are, you should not be using them.