Air New Zealand's Boeing 787-9 experience
It might be part of a broader trend towards the "de-commoditization" of the cabin and air passenger experience or maybe is the general public becoming more "aircraft-literate" and starting to care a bit more about the type of aircraft they are flying (as anecdotal evidence I have come across some friends of mine with otherwise no particular interest in aviation talking about the whereabouts of at least two types of aircraft: the A380 and the Boeing 787).
I am under the impression that it is not only aircraft manufacturers branding their products and raising awareness among the the general public, but airlines are focusing a lot more their marketing messaging on how new generation aircraft benefit their customers (to the point that some travel agents are even selling packages where flying on a particular type of aircraft is THE "product"!).
A case in point is Air New Zealand, something logical if you consider the length of its average international flight sector for the Kiwi airline (no wonder the Kiwi airline has just opened a Customer Innovation and Collaboration Centre in Auckland to devise new ways to improve the air traveler experience).
We have written a few times about Air New Zealand before as it is one of those airlines that seems to have a constant stream of new marketing ideas, be it Skycouch seats for passengers traveling together, hilarious flight safety videos or flights to Antarctica. The latest has been the launch of a dedicated, very visual, micro-site (not unlike those of net generation fashion stores) that displays the highlights of its future Boeing 787-9 experience (commercial Boeing 787-9 service with Air NZ starts early next year on the route between Auckland and Perth, Western Australia).