British Airways Campaign's a Sleeper

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British Airways began an integrated marketing campaign this month centered around the airline's bed seat.


The "Fly flat. Fly free." campaign includes direct mail, e-mail and an interactive Web-based effort. The campaign aims to increase awareness of the airline's new flat bed seat it offers in business class and promote a special offer of two free tickets anywhere British Airways flies to anyone who buys a business class ticket before April 15.


The interactive Web portion starting this week will appear on nearly 30 sites. Some of the sites will be within the business and international sections of online news outlets such as NYTimes, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, USAToday, Bloomberg and About.com. Visitors to those sites will see an image of the flat bed seat that will appear sideways on their screen along with a Flash animated creative message.


After a few seconds, the page will upright itself and the seat will fade into the story the user has selected to read. The ad will be complemented by British Airways banner ads and skyscraper ads at the top and right of the page.


The interactive portions of the campaign were created by i-traffic, an interactive marketing and advertising company and subsidiary of Agency.com.


Earlier this month British Airways began a direct mail campaign targeting members of its frequent fliers Executive Club. Amy O'Kane, advertising manager for British Airways North America, said the mail drop was in the area of 100,000 people.


"The piece was a personalized letter," she said. "We have found that when receiving information from us, members of our Executive Club just want to receive the information straight up and don't prefer any imagery or other collateral."


The British Airways e-mails will target members of its database and names purchased from an opt-in list. Nearly 1 million HTML-based e-mails are being sent starting this week, O'Kane said.


All forms of advertising will use the "Fly flat. Fly free." theme.


The campaign cost about $500,000, O'Kane said.


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