American Airlines has rolled out its new advertising campaign -- Going for Great --in four cities, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Atlanta, the New York Times reported this week.
Three of those cities are important American hubs. But Atlanta is not. Instead, as readers know, Atlanta is home of the nation's most profitable airline, Delta. We might assume American bought ads in Atlanta less to gain market share and more to tweak its rival.
Overall, American is trying to persuade high-value travelers to consider switching to American. The New York, Chicago and Los Angeles markets are highly fragmented, and customers tend to have a choice among full service airlines. The Times reports:
The ads promote improvements that American plans to make in coming months as well as changes the airline has already made, among them offering lie-flat seats in first class and business class on every flight between New York and three cities (London, Los Angeles and San Francisco) and between Los Angeles and two cities (London and New York).
According to the Times, American has added local flavor to its campaign. I believe these taglines are a bit trite, but who knows? Maybe they resonate with travelers?
So the ads for the Chicago market carry headlines like “From Second City to almost any city,” “O’Yeah” and “Da partures,” the latter a play on the “Saturday Night Live” skits about the fanatical Chicago sports fans who root for “Da Bears.”
I first wrote about the "Going for Great" tagline in October. Here's what VP of marketing Fern Fernandez told employees in announcing the campaign:
"These cities are highly competitive, fragmented markets, and we have a fantastic product to share with our customers and potential customers," Fernandez said. " Our competitors are active advertisers in these cities. By not having a voice, our competitors are, in essence, telling our story for us. But we’re ready to tell it ourselves and show them all the great things happening at American."