Case study: How Insight helped 1Above take flight

Case study: How Insight helped 1Above take flight
Roger Boyd is a man on a mission to change the way people fly. He’s endured more than his fair share of international flights and, in previous roles, has burned through close to three passports’ worth of travel.

Roger Boyd is a man on a mission to change the way people fly. He’s endured more than his fair share of international flights and, in previous roles, has burned through close to three passports’ worth of travel.

It was during this jet-set lifestyle that Roger was inspired to develop a product to combat the physiological effects of flying. Enter 1Above, a drink offering hydration and clinically proven ingredients aimed at reducing the impact of jet lag and combating the chances of contracting the flu or deep vein thrombosis.

After an extensive search for the right agency to brand the drink, he found Insight. “What I liked about Insight was it was clear from previous brand work [such as Gravity Coffee and Ecostore] that they were prepared to look at category norms and turn them upside down, to do things that were unique, compelling and edgy, that resonated with the target,” says Boyd.

For Insight managing director Mike Tisdall, this project was “an opportunity to be involved right from the outset in literally creating, developing and rolling out a sector-changing brand.

“It absolutely excited us as an opportunity,” he says.

Insights led Insight
There’s nothing easy about flying at altitude. Beyond jet lag and the obvious risk of deep vein thrombosis, many people become dehydrated. Travellers are more susceptible to airborne diseases thanks to dry cabin conditions combined with poor food and beverage choices, all of which dry out the body’s natural defence system.

While most people understand the physical impact flying can have on the body, merely answering such concerns was not enough to secure the attention of the targeted audience – the well-travelled. Insight needed to unravel what this specific market enjoyed and how to marry the product concept with their lifestyles and aspirations to deliver a compelling proposition.

Connect with emotion and lifestyle, not just function
Throughout the design process Insight was careful to position 1Above’s benefits as part of a wider, emotive story rather than as the sole reason for purchase. Audience behaviours and insights anchored every aspect of the creative. “It would have been so easy to position this drink as something akin to a medicine,” Tisdall notes. “Instead, research told us we had to be aspirational, lifestyle-oriented and positive. That meant balancing what the drink delivered with how the brand was represented at every touch-point.”
An experience uniquely for flying
Perhaps the area of greatest focus was ensuring everything about the brand worked to position the product as part of an experience specific to flying. Every detail was pored over – from the shape of the bottle and its clip-function, designed to reduce the impact on leg room, to the principal colour which specifically referenced the blue of a clear horizon.

Language, too, was critical. To distinguish 1Above from every other beverage, it was positioned as a ‘flight optimisation’ drink. The name itself, 1Above, refers to a superior flying experience. Lastly, Insight created a drink category which could be named and trademarked; 1Above is the world’s first, and only, Aerotonic beverage.

The word ‘Aerotonic’ was derived from the twin concepts of feeling good and being at altitude. The name was picked to give resonance and relevance in a crowded and highly competitive market.

This thinking in turn influenced how elements were aligned, everything from point of sale to the retail team’s clothing.

Make this brand an inherent part of flying
Four years on from first discussions, 1Above is now up and flying. The company recently signed a letter of intent to start 1Above’s global roll-out. Boyd says business is growing at over 10 percent a month and attributes a lot of that success to engaging design. “Insight’s design is so well considered and anchored in customer insights, superb design knowledge and that bit of magic that is elusive to many.”

What began as a dream and a slide deck in Insight’s boardroom is on the cusp of becoming a part of the way the world flies more comfortably. With an estimated four million international travellers taking to the air every day, the opportunities loom large for 1Above.

To find out more about how Insight can help get your brand off the ground, call Steven Giannoulis on 09 919 6014 or contact him at

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