TM Breaks Latest ‘Why You Fly’ Spots

DALLAS Interpublic Group’s TM Advertising is breaking new work for American Airlines under the “We know why you fly” campaign launched in September, the agency said.

“Answering Machine,” a spot that broke Nov. 11, features a business traveler calling home on his cell phone from various spots along the way to the airport ticket counter. Shots of an empty house imply that no one is home as the traveler’s voice is heard on the answering machine giving updates. As he arrives at the ticket counter, he makes another call as the ticket agent eavesdrops.

“She’s not on the sofa is she?” the agent asks.

The man looks puzzled, then asks over the phone: “You’re not on the sofa, are you?”

In the next scene a dog lifts its head over the back of a sofa as the man says, “You know leather is very expensive, Suzy.”

The scene fades into a background of sky with the tagline and voiceover: “We know why you fly.”

“Tooth,” the next spot in the campaign, breaks Nov. 18, the agency said. The ad is about a little boy who loses a tooth while his mother is traveling. A ticket agent asks the mom, “What’s the going rate for a first tooth?” The mom replies, “About $5 and a hug.”

Key agency executives on the account are group creative director Bill Oakley, creative director Shep Kellam, copywriter Jason Niebaum, art director Chris Cima and producer Hal Dantzler working with the production company Moxie Pictures. Stimmung provided the music.

The “We know why you fly” campaign, estimated at $60 million over 18 months, represents the carrier’s first broad image initiative in more than a decade. The ads depict humorous insights on the part of American employees of their customers’ situations and needs.

“Something special in the air” was American’s previous tagline.

TM in Irving, Texas, has held the American account since 1981.

As the airline seeks to improve its image with customers, it faces strong economic headwinds. With fuel prices soaring and hurricanes roaring in the third quarter, American suffered a loss of $214 million, or $1.33 per share, from a profit of $1 million in the same period last year.

To compensate for the tough conditions, American chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey revealed plans to ground the equivalent of 15 aircraft and to increase capacity on other planes. That move eliminates a previous American marketing initiative that provided additional legroom throughout the coach section of all aircraft.

“When we launched ‘More room throughout coach,’ healthy yields and robust business travel were the norm, and both conditions were essential to the success of ‘More room,’ ” Arpey said. “However, times have changed, and we must acknowledge that in today’s low-fare environment, having fewer seats on our aircraft has put us at a real revenue disadvantage compared to other airlines.”