Delta Back in Contact

Delta Air Lines is appealing to people’s desire for personal contact in its first campaign since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Unlike previous efforts by Leo Burnett, which used humor to show how Delta was making air travel more hospitable, the shop’s new work takes a more emotional approach in an effort to entice reluctant travelers back into the air. The ads carry the tagline, “Person to person.”

“The tactical message has taken a backseat to one that’s more reassuring,” said Brad Gerdeman, Delta’s director of worldwide marketing. “Right now the overall umbrella theme is about getting people together.”

A 30-second spot, which broke in key Delta markets last week, depicts people addressing the camera with their reasons for traveling. “This is not the kind of contract you can fax,” says one businessman.

In another ad, a college student expresses that he’s homesick.

“People have a strong desire to be together,” Gerdeman said. “Delta is in a unique position to provide that connectedness.”

The effort also includes a print ad running in USA Today, The New York Times and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and radio in key markets.

Atlanta-based Delta had been looking at updating its message prior to Sept. 11, Gerdeman said.

The new effort is meant to retain elements of the previous campaign, and the ads’ approach keeps a similarly customer-centric point of view.