The campaign to give the airline formerly known as ValuJet a new identity took another step last week with the first TV spot that doesn't mention the company's prior identity.
Cramer-Krasselt's first two spots for Airtran Airlines made it clear that the Atlanta-based discount flier was formerly ValuJet, despite the company's efforts to distance itself from that name. A ValuJet plane crashed in Florida's Everglades in May 1996, prompting a federal investigation that raised questions about safety.
After winning the business in July, C-K's Chicago office was asked to create a new identity for the carrier. The agency's work broke in October under the tagline, "It's something else." The first two spots noted the change from ValuJet to Airtran, promising, "By the time we're through changing ValuJet, you won't even recognize it."
The latest spot, which was rolled out in the largest of Airtran's 45 markets last week, introduces the airline's new business class. Three businessmen are uncomfortably crowded in the back of a taxi, and the swarthy driver makes matters worse with his strange music and singing. Spaciousness awaits on their flight, the ad promises, aboard "The new Airtran Airlines."