Rokkan Lands Aer Lingus, Nabbing First European Work

Digital shop picks up Irish airline

New York-based Rokkan has been flying high for months, picking up new clients and opening offices across the country. Now the Publicis Groupe shop has landed the European digital work for Aer Lingus, establishing the agency's first assignment across the pond.

Ronan Fitzpatrick, head of e-commerce for the Irish airline, suggested that Rokkan's efforts for clients JetBlue and Virgin America in the United States was the basis for giving the agency the digital lead role for the brand's campaigns abroad. "We love what they have done in the airline and travel space and could not be more excited to kick off this new relationship and provide an improved overall experience for our customers," he said.

Kantar, which doesn't measure online expenditures in Europe, said Aer Lingus invested a combined $1.25 million during 2011 and 2012 in Web ads in the U.S. That's probably but a slice of what it doles out abroad—where most of its flights take place.

Per Rokkan, it will helm digitally based creative and strategic initiatives for the airline, while relaunching the brand's website and booking engine.

Harley Block, svp of brand development and marketing at the agency, said there were no plans to open a European office to service the new account. But he left the door open to the idea if the relationship scales upward in the future.

"In the advertising world, we're routinely flying from place to place," he explained. "So that's how we'll handle this situation for now." 

And booking flights through Aer Lingus, no doubt.