FCB Seattle Stays in Aviation With Kenmore Air

With its fleet of 22 seaplanes, Kenmore Air may not fill the void left by Boeing at Foote, Cone & Belding in Seattle. But it is helping to keep spirits aloft at the agency.

Executive creative director Mary Knight said the creative team on the account took a test flight on a Kenmore seaplane before getting to work on a new campaign, which launched in January.

By sheer happenstance, the Seattle shop picked up Kenmore Air around the time it lost the $70 million Boeing account to FCB Chicago following the client’s own relocation to the Windy City. Kenmore, based in Seattle and in business since 1946, previously developed its advertising in-house, Knight said. This is the first time it has used an agency.

Kenmore’s 22 planes carry more than 60,000 people some 2 million miles annually, generating $15-20 million in revenue. Though it is not pro-bono, Knight referred to the business as a “labor of love,” alluding to the small ad budget. CMR recorded no media spending by the client in 2000 or through October 2001.

Posters and print ads will run through March in two Seattle seaplane terminals and in local papers. Winter is the off-season for Kenmore Air; efforts should ramp up as the summer travel season approaches.

The first three ads are tagged, “Adventure. Close to home,” emphasizing that traveling by air doesn’t necessarily mean going thousands of miles away. In light of Sept. 11, this was a key message, Knight said.

Kenmore destinations include the San Juan Islands and Victoria, Brit ish Columbia, both only 45 minutes from Seattle. Kenmore also offers charter flights to more remote destinations, including fishing and golfing spots.

One new ad features a portion of a cockpit control panel with copy that reads: “Decrease the number of times you tell yourself, Someday.” All of the ads show a small image of a seaplane landing in water.

“There is a nostalgia and glamour about floatplane travel that you just can’t get from any other mode of transportation,” Knight said.