American Airlines Image Push Debuts

DALLAS TM Advertising has unveiled a campaign for American Airlines that represents the carrier’s first concerted image initiative in more than a decade, the client said.

Campaign spending will be $60 million, sources said.

Introducing the tagline “We know why you fly,” new TV spots tout American’s strength as a global carrier with more than 80 years of flying history.

The ads depict customers and employees in various situations designed to show how passengers benefit from American’s experience and range of services.

“With so many airlines focusing so much on pricing, now is the right time to introduce our new brand strategy,” said Dan Garton, executive vice president of marketing for American Airlines. “While our customers demand and are receiving competitive fares, we also know they want and value a range of quality services that can uniquely provide.”

The 18-month campaign includes television, radio, print and online ads in English and Spanish. The ads will appear nationally and in key local markets.

American’s previous tagline was “Something special in the air.” Interpublic Group’s TM in Irving, Texas, has held the American account since 1981.

The marketing program also will feature a Web site, WhyYouFly.com, developed by TM Interactive.

TM’s creative directors on the account are Bill Oakley and Shep Kellam with Chris Cima and Matt Porter as art directors. The spots were written by Jason Niebaum. Hal Dantzler was executive producer.

The American campaign arrives at a time when the major carriers are struggling to escape or avoid bankruptcy. United Airlines remains in Chapter 11, and US Airways is trying to avoid a second Chapter 11 filing. Delta Airlines on Wednesday announced major cutbacks and the elimination of its Dallas-Fort Worth hub.

Fort Worth, Texas-based American shares many of the same problems but, so far, has managed to avoid bankruptcy court.

Last week, American and its regional affiliate said they would add 70 flights from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport by summer 2005.