KLM wants you to know it's an airline.
Credit: Courtesy of KLM

KLM has a branding problem. It seems many people don't realize it is an airline.

In a new campaign meant to familiarize the Royal Dutch Airline to American audiences, KLM tapped cult-favorite comedian/actor Ken Marino to explain, more or less, what it is exactly that an airline does.

According to a recent study conducted by the brand, many Americans did not know that KLM is an airline. Many confused it for a radio station or brand of milk.

So, naturally, KLM did what any wry-witted airline would do: It made an entire digital campaign to tell everybody that it is an indeed an airline.

The multi-video campaign also addresses other important aviation questions like: What is an airport? What is a flight attendant? What is a flier? Vital stuff that any traveler should know.

In tandem with the videos, the airline launched an interactive website, The site features games that customers can play to earn frequent flier miles. The games are picture hunts where the object is to find things like “flier” or “arm” or “stroopwaffel.”

Later this year, the acronymic airline (its full name is Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij, by the way) will introduce direct service between Miami and Amsterdam. The airline already serves more than 50 North American cities.

But if KLM plans on expanding more in the American marketplace—which it does—the first step is making sure everybody knows what it is.

Cailey Rizzo writes about travel, art and culture and is the founding editor of The Local Dive. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @misscaileyanne.