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British Airways' Launch of Daily Boeing 777 Atlanta Service

Challenge:

• British Airways (BA) was a very small player in the Atlanta air market. Civic and media attention went to Delta Air Lines, which also provided service to dozens of global destinations.

• BA would be first with the Boeing 777 product, with Delta following a few months later.

• BA had a very small budget and was not well known. ECA needed to generate positive news coverage and create excitement in the international business community to consider using BA for global travel.


Approach:

• Planned a multiphase activity schedule in early February to maximize awareness in the business community that focused on the 777 launch. Planned and handled logistics for an elaborate dinner event for Gold Card Business and First Class travelers the night before the 777 launch.

• The chosen venue was Peninsula House, the Atlanta estate of Raymond and Georgina Goldsmith, owners of Speedo sportswear. BA provided the food, wine, china and crystal, and had its executive chef flown in from London to supervise the dinner.

• BA's Regional General Manager of the Americas, Peter Spencer, delivered a speech to the British-American Business Group the day before the dinner.

• A radio promotion entitled "Couples in the Clouds" was also held with the winners selected to travel on Valentine's Day. BA received two promotional opportunities, one with the contest and one the day of travel.


Results:

• Received significant local reach and awareness as BA carefully targeted each 777 activity to gain media and corporate attention.

• BA's strong message of "First in the Atlanta market with the Boeing 777" was successfully conveyed.

• ECA secured extensive television coverage on Atlanta's ABC and NBC affiliate stations, including a live news shot from Hartsfield International by NBC. CNN (International) also did a story on the in-flight meals. The firm also coordinated radio coverage, which included WZGC and WGST, as well as print stories in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, two placements in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, including a front-page business story and coverage in The Ticket (Newsletter).
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