Attik Unveils 1st Work for ExpressJet

LOS ANGELES Independent Attik has unveiled its first campaign for ExpressJet Airlines.

Full-page newspaper ads, location-specific outdoor and radio spots broke Tuesday in the carrier’s 26 markets.

The newspaper ads present a streamlined silver jet followed by swooping red contrails against an all black field. “There is definitely a Pan Am influence by our design director Paul Miller in that look,” said Ron Lim, Attik associate creative director. “But we’re still developing the tagline.”

The headline reads, “Get over stopovers.” Copy continues, “We give you non-stop flights on fast, quieter jets with no middle seats. Stopovers are so last week.”

ExpressJet’s goal is to convert the negative associations of a minor carrier into positives, he said. For example, both radio and print executions turn the potential liability of smaller aircraft (the fleet is primarily 50-passenger Embraer jets) to an advantage by stressing that there are no passenger-dreaded middle seats.

Other ads mention carry-on valet service at the gate and a service orientation. “We want to hit hard on their benefits,” said Lim. “So while other airlines are giving no meals or charging for food, ExpressJet serves a sandwich and pasta.”

To exploit the food-and-beverage service differentiation, for example, Attik is staging various guerrilla-marketing efforts on behalf of the Houston-based client. Targeting office complexes likely to house business travelers, cookies and milk will be distributed at lunchtime, as they are on flights. ExpressJet-sponsored happy hours at bars will serve beer for $1 and wine for $3, mimicking the price aboard the jets.

“Instead of baby boomers, we decided to reach out to Gen-Xers who have to fly to these under-serviced markets and usually had to make a stopover,” said Lim.

The ads were developed under ecd Simon Needham. In addition to Lim and Miller, senior strategist Matt Roblee contributed to the campaign. Onita Mihaly runs the account for the San Francisco shop, which won creative and media duties in September.

The client spent $1.5 million on advertising through July 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.