Malaysia Airlines: Master Class in Marketing Failures


Malaysia Airlines most recent Twitter gaffe popped up on my screen this morning, as I was preparing to take their flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong via Kuala Lumpur (using one of those nice business class fares that I wrote about here).

Malaysia Airlines Tweet

Who on their right mind would tweet something like this considering that the airline had two planes going down this year?

You can read The New York Time piece about this here and the Economist one here.

The Economist was referring to New York Times and listed the marketing gaffes that the airline has had so far this year:

  • A September advertising campaign and free-ticket giveaway that asked customers to submit their “ultimate bucket lists.” (A “bucket list”, the Times helpfully explains, is used by some people to refer to a list of things they want to do before they die—ie, “kick the bucket.”
  • A September tweet, using the hashtag #flyinghigh, which advises: “If you fell down yesterday, don’t stay down. Get up as quick as you can.”
  • An October tweet, highlighting the airline’s new slogan, “keepflying”, reading: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.”
  • The latest offense, on Thursday, was a tweet that read “Want to go somewhere, but don’t know where?”


As I have posted earlier, I have no problem taking Malaysia Airlines flights because the accidents that happened earlier this year were unrelated and it is difficult to blame the airline for the shoot-down of one its planes in Eastern Ukraine.

With this and the sweeping of the Indian Ocean for MH 370, you would figure that Malaysia Airline’s marketing department or their agencies would be a little more smart and sensitive with how they promote the airline after these incidents.

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