DRAFT AT 20: STRATEGIC HELP A BONUS FOR LEAN-STAFF BRIT AIR

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Laurie Jackson

Director of marketing for Latin America & Caribbean Areas

British Airways

My division has been a client of Draft since 1991, and we've found them to be a true full-partner agency, almost an integrated part of my marketing team. We're lean-staffed, so we turn to Draft for a lot of strategic work as well as the creative and execution end.

I have complete faith in their business acumen and their knowledge of the airline industry. In fact, Jim Groll, the creative director on the account, and Carol Gulyas, exec VP of Draft in Chicago, know almost as much as I do about the airline industry. They also know quite a lot about the Latin American and Caribbean market, and there aren't a lot of agencies that can provide that truly international perspective.

WRITTEN IN LOCAL LANGUAGE

The agency's creative is excellent, as well. And our ad copy is written in Portuguese or Spanish, not translated from English. That's just another of the nuances that matter a lot when we're doing a targeted marketing relationship program.

For our account, Draft recently worked with two other agencies-M&C Saatchi, New York, and Sledge Productions, London-to put together a nine-month program to announce our change in flights from Heathrow to Gatwick airports in London. This move had major implications for our operations. In the integrated campaign they devised, many different programs came together over the nine months, culminating in a feature movie.

Draft and Sledge created and produced a fictitious love story set against an international travel background. It was launched in opera houses across Latin America, combined with events in celebration of international travel.

EFFECTIVE ON CABLE

Then it was run on Pan American regional cable TV. The campaign was extremely effective. As a result, instead of the revenue and market share problems that were anticipated, our business for the period actually exceeded our revenue target.

And the campaign was a difficult one because we had three agencies with three different disciplines-an event-marketing agency, an advertising agency and a relationship marketing agency-working very closely together. They formed a team, worked out the program and executed it. They weren't afraid to step away from the traditional.

As a group, the Draft people are a lot of fun to work with. They're dynamic in their thinking and their approaches. And BA is quite demanding and picky. I'd say we're a tough client, but that doesn't phase the Draft personnel. Their enthusiasm has not waned over the years, even though I've had a lot of the same team since Day 1.

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