CATHAY PACIFIC WINGS INTO ASIAN THEME

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HONG KONG-Cathay Pacific Airways is going back to its Asian roots.

A $40 million-plus, 67-country TV and print campaign begins today, with the slogan, "Cathay Pacific. The heart of Asia." This is the first major effort from McCann-Erickson Worldwide, which succeeded Leo Burnett Co. last year. The previous theme was "Arrive in better shape."

"Asian passengers now account for over 75% of our passengers, compared to 69% five years ago, so it is important for the Cathay Pacific brand to appeal to these customers," said Tim Fitzsimmons, Cathay Pacific's marketing and sales manager. "The new advertising is designed to send the message to our key markets that we know what they want."

The airline has flights to 412 destinations in 26 countries, but more than 50% of its passengers come from Hong Kong, south China, Taiwan and Japan.

Mr. Fitzsimmons said the new campaign is aimed at "supporting a wide-ranging revision of the sort of product the company offers customers."

Cathay's new corporate identity program retains the logo of the Swire Group, the London-based company that owns the airline, and its red and green colors but in deeper shades than before. Landor Associates, Hong Kong and San Francisco, handles.

The ads also have a new look, with simple brushstroke images.

Print ads begin today in 266 newspapers and magazines worldwide. Some have special features, such as an IBM-compatible computer disk inserted in the October issue of Forbes Zibenjia.

The disk in the Chinese-language business publication will include up to 60 pages of color animation and English language information. The program offers an interactive preview of Cathay's product improvements, such as new seats and personal TVs.

Two TV spots will run in 67 countries, promoting new long-haul business class improvements.

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