Air France on $132m spree

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 November, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 November, 1997, 12:00am

Air France has announced regional plans for its new three- year advertising campaign designed to reposition the airline's presence as a global carrier.

The company will invest about 100 million French francs (about HK$132 million) in the project.

Based on the theme 'Winning the hearts of the world', the global campaign, created by the US firm Ammirati Puris Lintas, involves a 30- second television commercial which airs regionally on CNNI and ABN from December 8 to 29.

A second run of the advert will be broadcast from mid- February to mid-March.

Marie-Joseph Male, vice- president of Air France Asia- Pacific, said the campaign was important for the carrier's development in Asia as company restructuring had prevented the airline from advertising in the region during the past year.

'Since last year, we have increased our flights in the region and capacity by more than 30 per cent.

'We expect in three years to increase our capacity in Asia-Pacific by 40 per cent,' he said.

'To do this, we first have to communicate and create an awareness in Asia-Pacific. The tone of the ad is closeness and human warmth and it communicates Air France's mission of emphasising service and individual choice.' The carrier wants to become one of Asia's top five preferred airlines by 2000. Air France offers daily flights between Hong Kong and Paris.

Mr Male said the campaign was significant as it marked the first time Air France had worked with a global agency. French agencies had previously handled the carrier's campaigns.

It was also the first time creative and media buying functions had been separated.

Mediapolis, represented by EURO RSCG in Asia, is conducting media buying.

'By working with a global agency, we have more continuity and we can plan much further in advance. This will probably be the first in a series of commercials,' he said.

'It's important that we are able to have a forum to communicate worldwide and Ammirati Puris Lintas gives us that outlet.

'We plan to draw on the input of the regional offices for additional support.' The campaign is supported by print adverts (appearing after the television campaign) in regional publications Asia Magazine, Asiaweek, Time, Business Traveller, Yazhou Zhoukan and travel trade magazines.

Other outlets include local daily newspapers in Hong Kong and other Chinese cities as well as India.

The weekly lifestyle publication, Next, will also carry the print ads.

French actress Jeanne Moreau provides the voice-over for the commercial which she also directs. The campaign launches in the US in mid-January.

Air France turned a profit of $532 million in its last fiscal year, its first since 1989.

Despite protests from former company executives, the French Government has refused to privatise the carrier.

GLOBAL CAMPAIGN POINTS Three-year regional plan to reposition Air France Carrier looks to increase Asia-Pacific capacity Film actress Jeanne Moreau directs commercial