American Turns 80 With Sweepstakes Promo

DALLAS American Airlines will launch an online Family Reunion Sweepstakes Wednesday to mark its 80th anniversary, the company said.

The winner of the contest, which runs through Feb. 28, will receive 10 round-trip tickets at Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, for four days and three nights.

The sweepstakes builds upon American’s “We know why you fly” campaign developed by Interpublic Group’s TM Advertising and launched in the fall of 2004. Hispanic and African-American advertising and promotional initiatives were added in 2005.

As part of the original campaign, TM Interactive developed the www.whyyoufly.com Web site and asked American customers to submit short videos that illustrated why they fly.

American spent $88 million on advertising in 2004 and $71 million through September 2005, per TNS Media Intelligence

One of American’s most recent ads from TM, “Red Pumps,” portrays a customer’s desire for spontaneous travel, love and quality of life. Part of McCann-Erickson Worldwide, TM is based in Irving, Texas.

American’s anniversary is significant because the airline is one of the few major carriers to have avoided a bankruptcy filing in the past five years. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, American ranks as the world’s largest airline measured in passenger miles flown.

Dan Garton, executive vice president of marketing at American, said the anniversary reflects the company’s staying power in the travel industry.