Here’s How AirAsia is Leveraging the Power of YouTube and Conversation Commerce


Since YouTube was launched in 2005 by three former PayPal employees it was a simple video hosting platform. In 2018 the, now Google owned, website has approximately 400 hours of content uploaded to it every minute and has made huge celebrities out of some of its users.

However, one thing which is only recently becoming apparent is YouTube’s power as a marketing tool for digital travel brands. When we discuss the topic of social media marketing it’s normally Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram which spring to the fore, but YouTube should be ignored at your peril.

Presently sitting at 74%, it’s estimated that, by 2020, video will account for 80% of all internet traffic. 52% of marketing professionals cite video content as having the best ROI, and marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than those that don’t.

When it comes to travelers, video becomes an even more powerful tool.

  • 66% viewed videos when thinking about taking a trip
  • 65% viewed videos when choosing a destination
  • 54% viewed videos when choosing accommodation
  • 63% viewed videos when looking for activities at a destination
  • 42% of travelers feel inspired by YouTube content

AirAsia understands the way YouTube can be used to inspire customers and start conversations, evidenced by the start of the second series of its popular #RedTalks series.


Named as a nod to popular online presentation brand, TedTalks, AirAsia’s RedTalks is designed as a magazine style talk show which looks behind the scenes at the company as well as helping to promote its exciting and affordable travel destinations.

The show is hosted by multi-awarded TV host, producer, entrepreneur, blogger, and UNICEF Special Advocate, Daphne Oseña-Paez, who returns for the second series.

The first episode is titled “Sweet Connections” and turns its focus to an important component of the travel experience – food. In the episode we journey to Davao and meet with a celebrity chef with a reputation for creating contemporary dishes which remain true to traditional Filipino culinary identity.

To tie the episode to AirAsia specifically, it features the creation of a brand-new chocolate dish which was included on the company’s in-flight menu in April. This builds a link between the series and the brand as customers who watch the episode and like the look of the dishes being created will be more likely to book with the company, so they can try it for themselves.

“The quality of stories and the online engagement we got last year when RedTalks was launched have been overwhelming,” said series host Daphne Oseña-Paez. “For this new season, we aim to raise the level of discussion and cover a wide range of topics to engage our audience and inspire them to have meaningful connections.”

Other episodes in the series look to tackle topics such as empowering women (featuring AirAsia Chairperson and former CEO, Maan Hontivero), sourcing the best creative talent in the Asean region, farming, and, of course, a whole lot more food.

The wide range of topics are designed to tap into hot button issues which will, not only help people to understand the issues facing the countries they may be considering visiting and give them inspiration, but also promote discussion across social media, using the #RedTalks hashtag.

“AirAsia is a sociable and innovative brand and we embrace social media not only to engage our fans but also to inspire and connect with our guests,” said AirAsia Philippines CEO, Captain Dexter Comendador. “With RedTalks, we are bringing back the era of talk TV and magazine shows to online audience with a refreshing approach using a platform that has become so effective and popular.”

Final Thoughts

Conversational commerce seeks to start meaningful interactions using chat platforms such as social media. People are likely to, not only talk about the subjects of the episodes they have just viewed, but also the destinations highlighted.

Once those conversations start flowing, they help bond people to the brand and enable AirAsia to get involved and guide them towards the sales funnel. Content marketing can be used to back this up as, once a brand knows which topics a prospect is interested in, they can guide them to specific content which is likely to be of interest.

YouTube is a hot property for marketing and will likely become ever more so as we move into 2019, and those brands willing to get on the bandwagon early are the ones likely to see the most significant results.

You can hear AirAsia’s Group Head of Social Media Content, Cherry Anne Mungcal speak at Digital Travel Summit APAC 2019, in April, at the Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore.

Please download the agenda today for more information and insights.

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