Marquis Jet Airs Its Differences in Print

NEW YORK After cameo roles on The Apprentice and Last Comic Standing, Marquis Jet Cards is taking a more traditional ad route with a $3-5 million print campaign that targets corporate titans as well as millionaires next door.

“There are hundreds of thousands of people who can afford to fly with Marquis that don’t even know it,” said Ken Austin, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Marquis. Those “close to a million” people have net worths hovering around $5 million, he said, and would not think much of spending more than $100,000 on 25 hours of private flight time.

Five print ads that will run in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and luxury magazines like Departures, among others, aim for “a ton of eyeballs every single day,” said Glenn Pere of New York ad agency The Pere Partnership, a proposition he said a one-off TV placement cannot deliver.

The ads, created by the independent shop, aim to cement Marquis’ place as the industry leader with glamour shots of the private jets and headlines like, “Second best doesn’t fly with us” and “It’s time we air our differences.” All ads carry “Making hours yours” as the tagline.

Pere’s shop won the assignment two months ago, and turned around the ads in that time. Austin said dozens of agencies courted Marquis after its appearance on The Apprentice, but he went with Pere because of its understanding of the service’s selling points and its ability to get ads done quickly.

Since 2001, Marquis Jet Cards has sold 25-hour blocks of flying time exclusively on the Net Jets fleet. Together, the partnered companies own about 70 percent of the fractional ownership market, but competitors have cropped up—FlexJets in Dallas and Flight Options are among their closest competitors, said Austin.

Though Marquis Jet Cards spent just over $1 million on ads last year, Austin said spending would increase this year by four or five times and that the company would seek larger and more frequent placement in publications. He added that the print campaign was just the tip of this year’s media iceberg, with TV ads on the horizon and more product placements expected in cable TV shows, music videos and major Hollywood movies.

“You have to take baby steps,” said Pere. “They understand what needs to be done to build a brand.”