Northwest uses unusual ad platform

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[Tokyo] Northwest Airlines found an unusual way to tell busy Japanese executives about its lie-flat business-class seats: It secured space on window cleaners' platforms. The outdoor ads, which face into office windows, have a picture of the high-tech seats and the tagline, "Does your seat recline all the way down to 176 degrees?"

The campaign, running on buildings in downtown Tokyo with high-profile tenants such as Cisco and Japan telecommunications group NTT DoCoMo, was done by WPP Group's MindShare with creative by sibling network Ogilvy & Mather. Northwest, the third-largest airline in Japan and the largest international carrier operating in that market, "set us a creative media challenge. The window-washer media is just one of our responses. Our target is tech-savvy, and using the latest mobile communication technology reinforces Northwest's Flying Smart brand position," said Martin Hadley, director of MindShare, Tokyo.

The agency also used a new quick response bar code-like technology to place interactive posters in train stations leading to a new international airport in Nagoya, as well as ads in taxis and local business and travel magazines. Consumers "read" the code by taking its photo with a mobile phone camera, generating a message with a URL link to a Northwest mobile Web site, where consumers can register and buy tickets to win bonus miles and prizes like Seiko watches.

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