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Why Not That Many Airline Commercials?  
User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3241 times:

I never see one. With all the competition, airlines need all the publicity they can get, yet they don't do ads. Look at WN they are the only ones that advertise seriously and I bet they have benefited a lot.

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineASAFA From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 171 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3234 times:

The answer is simple. Advertising costs money... something most carriers don't have a whole lot of right now. Most have moved away from traditional TV advertising, which is the most expensive (and is becoming less and less effective) and gone for internet, print and outdoor. Pick up a newspaper or drive by an airport and you will see plenty of airline ads.


Prepare for Takeoff
User currently offlineMarshalN From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2005, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 3216 times:

There are plenty of airline adverts in other places, but in the States you often only find them in magazines catering to specific audiences, and often not from US airlines, but rather the likes of Emirates, BA, SQ, CX, etc. I read The Economist and there are almost always airline ads in there

User currently offlineCtbarnes From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3491 posts, RR: 50
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 3209 times:

The other reason is penetration. Airlines tend to advertise locally in certain markets rather than do the scatter approach to the whole country, including areas the airline may not fly. It's a more efficient use of advertising dollars. Occasionally they may to raise awareness or try to pump up their image, but local targeting (particularly in the print media) has been found to be the most efficient.

Charles, SJ



The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6206 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 3179 times:

I've seen an AA or UA commercial on just about every other segment when I'm watching CNN, for the past several months.


Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineSATX From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2840 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 3159 times:

WN commercials are everywhere. I sometimes get the feeling they're the 'official airline' of everything. They even have/had a billboard at SAT that advertised whatever route they wanted to draw attention to that month. Other airlines do advertise, but I tend to agree with those who suggest you look in other places outside of television. Try this magazine for starters...

http://www.cntraveller.com/



Open Season on Consumer Protections is Just Around the Corner...
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9838 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3135 times:

Well they can advertise locally on television like United did in the Superbowl, however airlines often won't attract much business from television advertisements unless they are like Southwest and need to drive people to their website as that is one of the only ways to get a ticket.

Airlines like UA, AA, DL, NW, CO and US will advertise heavily in the newspaper. This is because they can display their wonderfully cheap fares and make people think about travelling and looking at the respective airline. You can't do that on tv easily as no one would pay attention to an advertisement showing air fares scrolling accross the bottom of the screen. Another benefit of newspapers is that is that traditionally higher income individuals read newspapers especially businessment in the morning before work or on the bus or train. This is good for airlines as this is the clientele that they go after since only so many people watch CNN or CNBC.

Billboards are also common near airports. This is to get you to think about choosing a specific airline when flying as you are stuck in delays or connecting in hubs. You might notice that advertisement from United outside of O'hare that talks about being a hometown airline with hundreds of nonstop flights.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3120 times:

I despise the UA commercials because they ruined Rhapsody in Blue by making it their stupid theme song. Now I can't listen to Rhapsody in Blue without thinking of United. That sucks. The UA commercials are on every day. I have to turn the TV off when they come on. I never fly United. Blech.

User currently offlineCmk10 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 513 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3105 times:

This ad here has been appearing in the Arizona State Univeristy newspaper "The State Press":

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/cmk102....dir=3f9f&.dnm=a86bscd.jpg&.src=ph

[Edited 2006-02-10 01:39:18]


"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3093 times:

Quoting SATX (Reply 5):
WN commercials are everywhere.

They advertise here in ATL all the time although I'm guessing it is more of a national thing though since the closest they come is BHM. Ding. You are now free to ride cattle class.

DL advertises very little on the TV and radio here while Critter is all over both. Remember, no sheep in FL Business Class but you might have to sit next to Ron Mexico...excuse me, Michael Vick.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineTK787 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4479 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3067 times:

I work in the TV commercials a lot, but like everyone else is saying, the carriers don't have the money. Most commercials at that level will be around 200K a day to shoot, and you still have to pay to air them. Usually a 30 second spot can take 2-3 days to shoot. That is why UA uses animation, which costs less, and another thing, no actors means no residuals.
On the other hand, I would love to work on a spot with a 787. Wouldn't it be great to get up and go to work around a beautiful plane all day long, try to light it and make it look beautiful. Heck, I would do it for half day rate!


User currently offlineMalaysia From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 3378 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3044 times:

Quoting Cmk10 (Reply 8):
This ad here has been appearing in the Arizona State Univeristy newspaper "The State Press"

When I was at ASU, I only had enough money to fly to Thailand for a long spring break and umm "homestay", instead of Hawaii



There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
User currently offlineKarlB737 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3145 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3037 times:

TK787 works at making the commercials. I have spent the last 33 years in commercial television airing the stuff. Air time isn't cheap especially when you want it to air during a highly watched news show. We all know the airlines cannot currently justify that kind of expenditure at this time.

SATX points out that WN however is running lots of ads. Obviously they can afford it and/or make it fit within their budget at this time.


User currently offlineMainliner From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 422 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3006 times:

Many airlines weren't exactly making money back in the 80's and early 90's, but I can certainly remember seeing many more commercials back then (my favorite was a USAir ad from 92/93 that had a whole song: '...every time we fly, every mile of sky, everything we do, USAir begins with you.').

Even in the late 90's, when most carriers were profitable again I saw virtually none, save for the occasional Southwest ad on TV. And the ones that do show up today seem bland compared to those from fifteen years ago...I'd love to see them come back with catchy jingles and songs, and images that actually highlight their service (on second thought, the complete lack of onboard service today might explain this  Sad) . Another gripe...virtually none of today's ads (for U.S. carriers, anyway) actually feature AIRPLANES!



Every flight counts.
User currently offlineSATMFECRPTEXAS From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 23 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2998 times:

I think that it is interesting that Southwest is the official airline of the NFL. Yes, they serve most of NFL cities now. I notice that I am bombarded with their commercials and advertisements when I watch Minnesota and Green Bay play. They don't serve either place. It just makes me mad that they aren't in MSP (yet, I hope). If they are going to have a commercial, at least serve the city or cities that they are promoting.

I don't want to turn this into a "When will Southwest serve MSP" post. But when they do, my family will be there several times a year.


User currently offlineDartland From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 646 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2995 times:
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All the arguements above may be true, but I don't see where the thread-starter got the idea that airlines don't advertise on TV all that much.

Yes, WN does. So does CO, US, AA, B6 -- US/HP less so.

Point being -- I see PLENTY of airline commercials on TV. Now given I'm talking about primarily the NY and Boston markets, which are cut-throat competition for these airlines.

Maybe the real point here is not that airlines don't advertise that much on TV. It is that airlines have no need for national ads since they are all so market based, and they simply choose to spend their money in markets where you don't live.
(e.g. an airline has less of a need to advertise in their hub market, since anyone living there will always think of that airline when making travel arrangements)


User currently offlineStirling From Italy, joined Jun 2004, 3943 posts, RR: 21
Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2989 times:

TK787 Makes them.....

KarlB737 Airs them.....

Me? I sold them for over 20 years.

Here's my take.

Fragmentation. Television commercials aren't the slam dunk they were 20 years ago. Then, CNN and MTV were in diapers, now we have to deal with 500 of their friends. Too many choices.
DVD sales/rentals.
On Demand.

Better Marketing. Companies nowadays have highly sophisticated agencies working to hyper-define their markets. The ability to offer highly-target marketing messages has never been more precise.
The Gross-Impressions (GRPs) offered by television is no longer the most cost-effective means of reaching the target demo.



Delete this User
User currently offlineN702ML From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2904 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 6):
however airlines often won't attract much business from television advertisements unless they are like Southwest and need to drive people to their website as that is one of the only ways to get a ticket.

Ummm....can you elaborate on this? You can still call WN reservations, go to a travel agent or the airport ticket counter.

There may not be any city ticket offices like other airlines have (and I believe those are rare these days except, maybe, in major hub cities) and they may not interline to allow other airlines to sell their tickets...but other than that....

I am not sure what you mean by "that is one of the only ways to get a ticket."

Elaborate on that, please.


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9838 posts, RR: 52
Reply 18, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2824 times:

Quoting N702ML (Reply 17):
Ummm....can you elaborate on this? You can still call WN reservations, go to a travel agent or the airport ticket counter.

Southwest uses its website a lot more for bookings. You can't book tickets on Southwest on websites like expedia, orbitz or travelocity. This has a big effect since Southwest needs to attract people to its websites while the network carriers get bookings from all over the internet. In order to get people to know about the Southwest fares they need to advertise more.

I meant Southwest.com is one of the only ways on the internet to book or even find Southwest Airlines fares. Advertising is more crucial for Southwest than for United.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineSpacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3675 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2817 times:

I see that stupid Southwest "ding" commercial about every five minutes. That ad drives me absolutely nuts - mostly because the sound they're talking about doesn't even sound anything like a "ding" to me (more of a "boong"), so it all just comes off as really fake and desperate.

I saw a really cool United ad tonight during the Olympics that I've never seen before, and it was in high definition! Not too many HD ads out there of any kind. It was really classy and interesting too, with an animation style I've never really seen before (it wasn't that wispy hand-drawn stuff they usually do, it was more CGI paper cutout kind of stuff, about a guy who flies off to fight dragons and brings a souvenir home to his son).



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12150 posts, RR: 49
Reply 20, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2810 times:

Southwest does have a large tour operator that actually sells and markets there vacation packages, Mark Travel Company, though I do agree they are limited exposure wise.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineCairo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2752 times:

An explanation for the lack of advertising I think all of you have missed is this:

The fact is, US airlines have made themselves into such a commodity industry that advertising may have decreased effectiveness.

I mean, you don't advertise brands of cucumbers or electricity - you just take the most convenient supplier available.

I've seen the United cartoonish commercials with the Robert Redford voiceover at the end. They're cute and somewhat interesting. But, who cares?

I'm still going to choose my airline based on 1. price or 2. schedule, or some combination thereof, even if I've seen anothe airline's tv ads for the last month.

If someday a US carrier wakes up and decides to throw a noticeably different product in the market - then advertising might reallly make sense.

Cairo


User currently offlineSpacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3675 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2732 times:

Quoting Cairo (Reply 21):
I mean, you don't advertise brands of cucumbers or electricity - you just take the most convenient supplier available.

Well, not exactly - you take whatever's available in your area. With cucumbers or electricity, that's generally one company. (And I *still* see Con Edison ads where I live...)

But what about other products that are considered commodities? Are you saying you never see ads for, say, clothes washing detergent? Cola? Orange juice? Fast food? Batteries? All competitors within these categories are substantially the same with relatively minor differences. A Whopper with Cheese is not all that much different from a Wendy's quarter pound single, but both BK and Wendy's still need to advertise.

It's true of every competitive industry. It's all about image; it's got very little to do with product. Why do you think people still buy more Coke than Pepsi even though everybody knows Pepsi wins the "Pepsi challenge" and people prefer it in taste tests? It's because Coke has become ingrained in culture and consciousness. You see that swirly script logo and it invokes something emotional.

If the airlines don't understand this, then it's their loss, I guess. But that's the point of advertising, and most companies in other industries do know it.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineZKNEA From New Zealand, joined Dec 2005, 151 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2678 times:

I suppose this is talking about American carriers, because I see a fair amount of advertising over here (although mostly on Sky satellite television) for EK, QR (on CNN), and NZ (who advertise quite a bit on free tv also, there is another thread here somewhere talking about their latest one for the rugby). In saying that though, the only QF advertising on TV I see here is a little video they play before the sports news on tv3 news.

Over here though (in New Zealand) you get a lot of travel agencies going the advertising for the airlines on TV (ie, for only 50 million dollars return flying mongol airways you can see all that transilvania has to offer, book now at your nearest honeymoon holidays agent now.. ok so not word for word). Is this the same as in other countries?


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9838 posts, RR: 52
Reply 24, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2661 times:

Quoting Cairo (Reply 21):
The fact is, US airlines have made themselves into such a commodity industry that advertising may have decreased effectiveness.

I hate to burst your bubble, but in a commodity industry advertising is more important. When there is no product differentiation, then advertising is one of the biggest ways for companies to compete. Like others have said, advertising is needed in simple cost competitive industries. How else can they differentiate themselves enough from their competitors so that customers go to the airline's specific website?

The effectiveness of advertising on television is less so for airlines. Ford can show its beautiful new 500 or BMW can show its new 3 series on television and get huge rewards from it. But airlines have way too many products (read destinations) to choose from. For the most part an airline is not going to advertise in its hub about a single destinatin. It is going to buy a newspaper article to tell you about how it has cheap flights to 20 destinations with the hopes that you would actually want to go to one of them.

In other parts of the world it is different. Airlines are viewed less of as a commodity. I have seen plenty of ads in Europe from different airlines promoting how wonderful their international first and business classes are (like Qatar Airways!). They are trying to differentiate their product so that you choose them when you fly to Asia next. In the United States it seems like the airlines all offer reasonably similar service. Sure Continental might give you a fist sized sandwhich or United will have economy plus, but schedule, price and loyalty programs are more important for the most part.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
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