Delta Gets in Passengers’ Heads

Leo’s Campaign Promises Only What Airline Says It Can Deliver
CHICAGO–Like United before it, Delta Air Lines attempts to address an acknowledged rift between customers and carriers with its first branding campaign in more than a year.
The $100 million global effort from Leo Burnett, which broke over the weekend, addresses the concerns of passengers head-on.
“There’s a relationship between the business traveler and the airlines that’s really important,” said Steve Crawford, executive vice president of client service at Burnett. ” ‘Rising’ was based on an understanding that the relationship was broken down. We’re trying to build it back up from an individual point of view.”
Unlike United Airlines’ “Rising” campaign from Fallon McElligott, which was scrapped last fall because the carrier found it hard to meet the ads’ expectations, Delta’s ads focus on the things the Atlanta carrier has already done, said Martin White, Delta’s vice president of consumer marketing.
“Our campaign is really looking back on what we’ve done in the past year,” White said. “We have an excellent story to go out and sell.”
The initial phase of the campaign places text above the heads of customers. The thoughts range from the travel-specific “Wants a window seat” to more general “Nap,” while a voiceover asks, “How do you want to travel?”
The campaign has no tagline, but each spot ends with a Delta luggage tag filled out by a customer with messages such as, “Fly w/me in mind” and “Fly informed.”
“We didn’t want this campaign to come across as corporate in nature,” said Lisa Bennett, executive creative director at Burnett. “Rather than Delta saying, ‘This is who we are,’ we wanted to sign off with the passenger point of view.”
The second phase of the campaign will address Delta’s solutions to specific customer concerns. The only spot already produced for that phase features a man using various airport amenities. The end of the spot tells how Delta has reduced lines for e-ticket customers. K