The ads for TWA's top-tier services -- first class on domestic flights and business class for overseas -- are a continuation of the airline's "Aviators" campaign, which launched last fall.
The overall effort is aimed at convincing consumers that stodgy old TWA has taken wing. "TWA for many years has had one of the older fleets among U.S. carriers and they need to change passenger perception in that regard," said Samuel Buttrick, an analyst with PaineWebber.
The new commercials from D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, St. Louis, will air on national cable networks and locally in major TWA markets such as New York and St. Louis. The estimated $10 million to $15 million campaign includes national radio and print ads.
60% MORE FIRST-CLASS SEATS
The ad for domestic first class, called Trans World First, touts "60%" more seats in first-class cabins and refers to TWA as "the airline adding one new plane every 10 days this year." The airline made more space available in its top-class cabins by reconfiguring them, not shrinking seat size.
The spot for Trans World One international business class pitches comfort for a continent-hopping business traveler.
"Your next meeting is in 14 hours, half a world away," says voice-over from Jack Perkins, host of cable network A&E's "Biography." "That's when you'll appreciate Trans World One."
The spot then plugs plush reclining seats and gourmet meals.
"TWA is talking to the business traveler who has mastered the skill of traveling for business," said Lisbeth Mack, TWA's VP-marketing and services.
Lynne Brinker, senior VP-group account director for DMB&B, said the ads seek to inform passengers about the new planes and improvements at the St. Louis-based airline.
"The real intent was to make sure the news about TWA is communicated," she said.
That news includes an aggressive fleet modernization. Last year, the airline added more seats to some of its first-class cabins by reconfiguring them, while this year it is scheduled to add 37 new planes.
The company has also committed to buying an additional 125 planes by 2005 and has options to buy 125 more.
In another move to become more competitive, TWA slashed fares last week on its flights from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to St. Louis, seeking to bring them more in line with flights out of Baltimore/Washington International and Washington Dulles airports. The move was accompanied by local print and