Frontier Airlines Chooses Sticky Grey for Creative

Frontier Airlines’ hire last week of Sticky Grey to handle its advertising comes as the airline prepares for a “rebirth,” client officials said.

Sticky Grey—one of eight “villages” within Grey New York that specialize by category—won creative on the estimated $10 million account after a review. The other finalists were davidandgoliath, L.A.; McClain Finlon, Denver; and Cunningham Iverson Group, Houston, said Ian Arthur, client senior director of marketing and brand management.

The 9-year-old airline, based in Denver, initially sent RFPs to agencies that had pursued the business in the past, when it was handled in-house, Arthur said. Media buying and planning remain with Frontier.

The carrier, which posted a nearly $3 million quarterly net loss in August after four consecutive profitable years, is working to improve service. It plans to customize every seat on its 35 airplanes with DirecTV by spring; is converting from Boeing to Airbus aircraft; and will offer its first international service, to Mexico, before the end of the year.

The review’s finalists made strategy and creative presentations tied to Frontier’s new leisure destinations, including cities in Mexico, Florida and Arizona, said client director of advertising Diane Willmann.

“Sticky Grey had the campaign that would hit consumers in the bull’s-eye in a proprietary way,” Arthur said. “It not only reflected our personality and who we are, but it was a campaign only we could run.” He declined to give specifics.

In July, the airline hired Sterling-Rice Group in Boulder, Colo., for brand research and consulting. That relationship is ongoing, Arthur said.

A national campaign is planned for first-quarter 2003, with print, radio, TV and collateral. “It’s a major strategic branding opportunity,” said Grey New York president Steve Blamer. “We’ll identify what this brand stands for in people’s minds.”

Frontier has recently focused on pricing and schedules in print ads tagged, “Always affordable.”