Global highlight: Porter, Toronto

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Porter Airlines, a Canadian short-haul carrier due to launch this month in Canada and eventually the U.S., is building a brand around a stylized raccoon called Mr. Porter that will appear in various guises in its advertising and marketing.

Mr. Porter was developed by Winkreative, an agency based in London, Zurich and New York that Porter chose for its creative ideas and because of a personal acquaintance with its founder, Canadian Tyler Br–le, former editor of Wallpaper magazine. Winkreative's brand identity, design and advertising duties for Porter include everything from naming the airline to designing its website. "Porter" signifies "carrying with care" and "lightening the load," emphasizing that passenger care and efficiency are at the heart of the carrier's values. The raccoon was chosen for its visual appeal and its reputation as a smart and cheeky creature that represents Canada without resorting to the ubiquitous maple leaf. The raccoon will also appear on promotional and on-board items such as meal boxes, bottled water and signage.

Mr. Porter was seen first in a five-ad teaser campaign to be followed by ads online and in Toronto and Ottawa newspapers when customers can start booking tickets. Online teasers say "Keep an eye out" above a winking raccoon's masked eyes.

Porter will fly within 500 nautical miles in every direction from Toronto's downtown airport, starting with Canadian cities. The airline plans to add U.S. routes in early 2007. Porter's chairman is Don Carty, former chairman-CEO of American Airlines.

To find out more,visit winkreative.com and see the agency's biannual Winkreative Forecast.
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