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Midwest Express Shifts to Spots Touting Service

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At a time when airlines' reputations have soured, Midwest Express pushes reliable service in a new campaign from BBDS.

Actor John Mahoney of Frasier provides the voiceover in one 60-second and two 30-second TV spots that break regionally today. Mahoney's "honest" tone is central to the campaign, which continues the Milwaukee-based carrier's "Best care in the air" tag but focuses more on personal attention and care to the traveler rather than extras like fresh-baked cookies, said Jim Reichart, director of advertising for the airline.

In the past, Midwest Express has marketed amenities like the cookies, its spacious two-across leather seats and meals served on China.

In the new campaign, employees are shown going about their duties. "When you fly with us, we all fly with you," Mahoney says at the end of the spot.

"It goes back to the roots of what makes the airline great and that's its consistent, reliable service," said Steven Wold, executive creative director for Chicago-based BBDS.

"Business travel is a necessary evil," Wold said. "It still takes four hours to go coast to coast, but what many airlines are not focusing on is the service during that flight time."

The campaign also includes radio, newspaper print and outdoor in regional markets which will debut in the next several weeks.

Midwest Express increased its ad spending to about $4 million last year versus slightly more than $2 million in 1999, per Competitive Media Reporting. A similar expenditure is expected this year.