Expert interview: Here’s to a new start in Iceland
“Is this the dream maker?” This was the first question that our colleague Bastian Neumann-Semerow heard from the Isler family’s children at Reykjavik airport. And yes, they were right. Bastian is just one of the many dream makers in the Miles & More Marketing Communications department who helped develop the "Here’s to a new start" campaign. He is now helping our members to fulfil the dreams they missed out on – and bringing back exciting stories from their trips. Now doesn’t that sound like an interesting job? We think so too. That’s why we decided to speak to him about the “Here’s to a new start” campaign, so we can give you a glimpse "behind the scenes".
"Most people took part because they wanted to meet up with friends or relatives again. That in itself is very moving."
Miles & More editor: Bastian, can you briefly explain what the “Here’s to a new start” campaign is all about?
We’ve all had to go without many things over the last two years. We’ve had to postpone trips, we weren’t able to visit friends and family, and cultural events were mostly a no go. So many of our plans simply had to be abandoned. Even though there were so many things we all wanted to do. Me included. And it was precisely that feeling which gave us the idea for “Here’s to a new start”. Why don’t we fulfil the dreams of Miles & More members and help them catch up on all the important things they’ve missed? That’s what we’re doing with this campaign. The stories that over 2,000 applicants have told us have been incredible – from a marriage proposal that was supposed to take place under the cherry blossoms in Tokyo, to a trip to Canada to follow the family tradition and learn how to fish with great-grandad. But apart from all of the unusual requests, we also noticed that one thing was foremost in the minds of many Miles & More members: most of them took part because they wanted to meet up with friends or relatives again. They wanted to finally be reunited with their loved ones. And that in itself is very moving.
Miles & More editor: We couldn’t agree more. What have you got in store for us in the latest instalment of "Here’s to a new start"?
We travelled with the Isler family from Switzerland to Iceland. Their daughter Andrina had bone cancer and spent a long time in hospital. That’s where she discovered her love for horses. And that inspired the family to bring Vinur, the therapy horse, home – and it was the best thing they ever did. Vinur’s arrival gave the family renewed strength and joy. And because he was a good friend – Vinur is Icelandic for “friend” – the family wanted to know where he came from. And so the plan to trace the background of Andrina’s horse and get to know the land of Vinur’s ancestors was born. And that is what we have made possible, together with our Miles & More partners.
Miles & More editor: That sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime experience. What’s it like for you to give people such “priceless moments”?
It’s not just me, everyone that works at Miles & More is in one way or another a dream maker. Everybody does their bit. I’ve also noticed an equally strong commitment in our partners. For example, Hertz said right from the start how much they were looking forward to the campaign, and got actively involved. Radisson Blue, GetYourGuide and Edelweiss were equally committed, which naturally made me all the more motivated. I got to meet the partners and to see how they all collaborated to put together the perfect package for the lovely Isler family. For me, that’s not work, it’s a pleasure.
Miles & More editor: It sounds like a very fulfilling job. And finally, can you give us a little taste of what’s to come? What’s next?
The third instalment of the campaign will see us travelling with our winner, Petra Schwab, and her son Mika to Ghana to support a social project by help alliance . The project offers protection and prospects to children and young people in Accra’s poorest district. Ms Schwab’s wish was to get more socially involved abroad. However, over the last two years, she hasn’t been able to put her plans into action. Now she is all the more delighted to be able to make her dream come true and help young people.
Miles & More editor: We’re with her all the way. Thank you for such a fascinating interview. To watch the video of the Iceland trip, visit our YouTube channel or watch it right here.