On October 8, 2019, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was exactly one hundred years old and the first commercial airline that is still flying under its original name to reach this milestone.
DDB Unlimited is helping the agency to celebrate its centenary with a history film. So far, all is as expected. But the film is not the history of KLM – although its footage does show that – it’s the story of three generations of female KLM employees from the same family. The first two featured women became flight attendants. The granddaughter of the original woman becomes the captain of KLM’s newest airplane, the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner.
Threaded into the story is KLM’s evolution from 1919 to the present day, including classic airplanes such as the Fokker F.II in 1934, the Douglas DC-4 in 1949, Boeing 747 in 1975. Uniforms, uniforms, props and details from each decade are authentic.
The picture-perfect period detail was created by using some of the original airplanes, building historically accurate sets and by blending archive footage with cutting edge film techniques. The team at DDB Unlimited worked with historians at the KLM Heritage Centre and Dutch director, Ismael ten Heuvel, to ensure historical accuracy – paying minute attention to detail.
Esther te Pas, managing director at DDB Unlimited, stated, “We are telling a universal story which ends with a twist – hinting at how society has evolved in the last hundred years. We were able to recreate the past in such fantastic and realistic detail by treating this as a period feature film. Our team at DDB Unlimited worked with the director Ismael ten Heuvel and the historians at KLM to research everything fully to ensure that every detail is spot on to truly do justice to the rich heritage and history of KLM.”
Boet Kreiken, executive vice president customer experience, KLM, commented, “Today, we at KLM celebrate our 100th birthday, so it’s a great moment in time to talk about what we really stand for. We believe in bringing people together. Caring for our passengers. On top of this, we also stand for continuous progress. Progress in aviation, obviously, but also progress in a wider sense. Also, we’ve never forgotten the magic of flying. A magic that has been passed on through generations of customers, fans and employees.”
Read the stories of KLM’s families: KLM Family Stories
KLM’s centenary celebrations also include its global call to action on sustainable travel, Fly Responsibly. KLM has stepped forward to ask the aviation industry as a whole to join forces to create a more sustainable future for aviation.
Client: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Agency: DDB Unlimited
Production: Pink Rabbit
Director: Ismael ten Heuvel
Post Production: Storm Post Production
Music: Joep Beving @ MassiveMusic