Getting Their Kicks In

There’s enough room in the cabin for a soccer team to play a game, according to a playful new television ad for American Airlines.

Created by DDB Dallas for the Latin American market, the spot shows a mischievous boy tossing a soccer ball to a uniformed fellow passenger. The man obligingly springs into action, and the ball zips back and forth among his teammates. A spectacular mid-air split kick is performed with the aid of a fully reclining executive seat. The game is brought to an abrupt end when the ball is caught by an oven-mitted flight attendant.

Traditionally, DDB, which handles global advertising for American Airlines in tandem with U.S. agency Temerlin McClain of Irving, Texas, has focused on print efforts for the client.

“The difficulty is that it has to translate into umpteen countries,” said DDB group creative director Carl Warner. “Even though a lot of them are Spanish speaking, there aredifferent dialects and the culturesare different.”

The wordless spot, with its focus on a globally popular sport, has proven so successful since its launch that the client plans to air it on Spanish-language TV in the U.S. later this year.

“It’s a simple idea that communicates the ‘More room through coach’ message,” said DDB account supervisor Tony Robson. “Most people feel that it’s the best thing we’ve done for American in years.”

Creative credits include art di-rector Eddie Hale, writer Stu Ogletree, producer Chelle McDonald and director Edouard Nammour.