Colby Debuts Print Push for Japan Airlines

LOS ANGELES Dentsu’s Colby & Partners has unveiled its first advertising for Japan Airlines.

The print campaign, which is aimed at business travelers, focuses on the airline’s commitment to service. It includes a series of at least three print ads meant to resemble diary entries. Each highlights a different aspect of a traveler’s experiences with the carrier and includes the theme line, “The world-class service never stops on Japan Airlines.”

The debut execution, “Smiles,” addresses Japan Airlines’ flight attendants. Handwritten text covering a photo of a flight attendant reads, “Another long flight, I thought, as I mulled over the proposal on my laptop. A passing flight attendant extended me a genuinely warm smile. Normally, it wouldn’t have struck me as out of the ordinary, but considering how many I’d received since I boarded, I had reason to marvel.” Beneath the handwritten entry are the words, “To be continued…” which Colby copywriter Jason Sperling said is meant to convey the notion that “throughout the flight, Japan Airlines continues to give you that great service.”

Subsequent ads will address service and reliability, as well as the airline’s bed-like seats that recline to a flat position, the agency said.

Japan Airlines is expected to spend nearly $2 million this year on ads, according to Paul Izenstark, account manager for Colby & Partners in Santa Monica, Calif.

The campaign breaks later this month in national business publications such as Fortune, The Economist and the Far Eastern Economic Review, as well as in regional business publications in the airline’s key gateway markets of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Colby picked up the Japan Airlines account last year after the client shifted its American headquarters from New York to El Segundo, Calif. [, March 4, 2003]. The client previously worked with Dentsu’s DCA in New York.