KIWI CLIMBING ABOARD HIGH-FLYING PROMO TREND

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Kiwi International Airlines plans to join the ranks of those offering their planes for advertising and promotion.

Seeking stronger identity and needed revenue, Kiwi hopes to peddle the skin of its 15 planes through its new ad agency, Long Haymes Carr Lintas, Winston-Salem, N.C., in a yearlong "livery lease."

Such a lease, which would include four to six charter flights for the advertiser, would cost $1 million a year. Logo-jets are to run regular flights all other times.

VP-Marketing Tad Hutcheson said the carrier is close to signing a food marketer.

OTHERS CONSIDERING IT

Continental Airlines, Trans World Airlines and United Airlines also are considering selling such logo-jets, according to some advertisers; only Continental admitted it is.

Some observers say marketers should consider planes as part of an outdoor transit ad package.

"I can't at this point say it's a good advertising buy for planes alone," said John Robideaux, president-CEO of AirOutdoor, which sells space on airplanes, delivery trucks and buses. Rates start at less than $500,000 annually for a single plane in selected markets.

The Spokane, Wash., company uses a lighter 3M film technology-two-thirds the weight of the average 3,000 pounds of paint-saving airplanes fuel costs. AirOutdoor has contracts with Sun Country Airlines, American Trans Air and Tower Air, and is targeting movies and fashion as potential ad categories.

Southwest Airlines was probably the first to paint itself for an outsider in 1988, when it put Shamu the killer whale on a jet, promoting its Sea World relationship. Southwest and others, including America West Airlines, also paint planes to honor states they serve and to promote sports sponsorships.

`SIMPSONS' ON BOARD

Western Pacific Airlines turned the idea into a promotional vehicle when the carrier was launched with two planes a year ago. For $1 million a year, Fox Broadcasting Co.'s "Simpsons" plane brought the airline and Fox enormous attention.

Fox plans additional planes and will show them in live remote spots from Las Vegas' Hard Rock Cafe during the May 19 season finale of "The Simpsons."

Western Pacific also is partnering with Thrifty Rent-A-Car System on another logo-jet to coincide with the rental car company's fall ad campaign.

Supporting the launch of its new Pepsi-Cola blue packaging in Europe and the Middle East, Pepsi-Cola Co. recently chartered an Air France Concorde for eight days to tour those regions.

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