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British Airways' Online Push Plays Up Wimbledon

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NEW YORK -- A sleeping airline passenger clutches the Wimbledon trophy in one of several online ads for British Airways breaking Friday.

Designed to support British Airways' Wimbledon sponsorship and raise awareness for its flat-bed, business-class seat, the ads call for consumers to "Gain a new perspective on winning ... Fly the first fully flat bed in business class, and elevate your game."

The online campaign, called "Elevate Your Game. Fly Flat," was developed by Agency.com subsidiary i-Traffic. It builds upon the airline's "Fly Flat. Fly Free," interactive effort that launched earlier this year [IQ Daily Briefing, Jan. 14].

One of the ads, an EyeBlaster page-tilt unit, turns an entire Web page on its side to demonstrate the traveler's sideways point of view from the flat-bed seat. After a few seconds, the ad uprights itself and fades into the page, complemented by a British Airways banner and skyscraper at the top and right. Banners, skyscrapers and pop-ups will are a part of the push.

The campaign, which will run through the end of the tennis tournament on July 7, will appear on CBS Sportsline, Yahoo! Sports and the business, international and sports sections of NYTimes.com. It targets frequent business travelers, particularly those who haven't experienced the airline's flat bed, said Amy O'Kane, manager, marketing services North America for British Airways.

TV, print and outdoor ads from M&C Saatchi in London and New York feature the same "Elevate Your Game. Fly Flat," concept created by i-Traffic. O'Kane acknowledged that "it's a little unusual," for an online agency to be driving an offline concept. "Usually the above-the-line agency creates key concepts, but if the phrase works and it can be incorporated into the copy, then we'll use it," she said.