Culture and trends

Ryanair’s TikTok takeover: Pion's campaign of the month

Collection of screenshots from Ryanair's TikTok account
Written by
Victoria Owen
Published on
May 16, 2022
Last updated
June 3, 2024

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Pion's campaign of the month explores some of the freshest and most exciting campaigns from the brands that are engaging their Gen Z audience and catching our attention every week. Today we’re looking at travel company Ryanair’s infamous TikTok account.

Travel brands aren’t your typical Gen Z influencer, yet the airline Ryanair is defying expectations by gaining more and more TikTok followers every day, and has reached impressive levels of popularity on the social media platform. Today, we’re going to look at why Gen Z loves their page so much, find out the secret to their success and share how your brand can get involved. 

What’s the secret to their success?

With 1.6M followers and 12.5M likes on TikTok, Ryanair certainly has dedicated followers who are eager to see what the brand shares next on the social media platform. As we discuss in our upcoming Voxburner+ travel report, 24% of young people follow a travel brand online, with one of the most popular brands being Ryanair. Even more impressively, the account rose to fame during the pandemic - something nobody could have predicted due to the travel bans across the UK.

@ryanair What’s next? Another talking plane? smh😷#ryanair #airline #europe #pleasestop ♬ original sound - moschinodorito

@ryanair is known for jumping on viral trends, mocking passengers, rivals and even their own services. Some videos are of staff and cabin crew, but the most well-known content comes in the form of the social media manager (we think, it’s a mystery!) imposing their eyes and mouth onto a Ryanair aircraft  - a popular and regularly used idea amongst young people on the app. 

The mystery of the face behind Ryanair is one that intrigues Gen Zers across the world, although we wouldn’t be surprised if it was a 16-24-year old creating this relatable content (after all, 24-year-old Zaria Parvez is the face behind Duolingo’s iconic mascot Duo the Owl). Comments on Ryanair’s page include: ‘The guy who is in charge of the Ryanair TikTok needs a raise. I’m dying’, ‘Whoever runs the Ryanair TikTok account deserves to own the entire company’ and ‘I'm only flying Ryanair cause of their Tiktok admin’.

And the account isn’t just loved amongst UK young people - Gen Zers from the US and Asia are even reaching out to the company and asking them to expand their flight routes to allow these young people to experience their services! This proves, yet again, that a popular social page and strategy is a fast track to going global with this generation.

@ryanair There’s only so many blurry cloud pics a person can view 👁🩸👄👁 #help #sos ♬ original sound - 🌟

In a recent interview, Ryanair’s Head of Social said that their success was most likely down to their decision to “lose the corporate tone of voice”, going on to say: “We’ve conditioned social media to be a dumping ground for every piece of information available to us - Ryanair want to stand out and avoid the clutter.”

Why do we love it?

Ryanair’s tone of voice of content is perfect for the platform, especially when we consider that one of the brand’s main target audiences is Gen Z (thanks to their astronomically low prices). By reacting to trends, staying relevant and not taking themselves too seriously, the brand has earned a place in the hearts of Gen Zers across the world, once again suggesting that any brand can be popular amongst this generation, provided the social strategy is perfectly aimed. 

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