Fly with me…

The objective

The objective

Air travel can be murder on the skin. The recent campaign by Rapp Collins Worldwide’s Toronto arm took that simple truism to develop its recent push for Air France’s Fréquence Plus members, who, it seemed, weren’t capitalizing on the benefits of their membership. With rejuvenation as a theme – and French skin-care line Biotherm as a strategic partner – the campaign’s goal was to increase awareness and participation by 25%. The end result was better than expected, and left all involved with a rather healthy glow.

The strategy

To target its well-heeled flyers and reinforce the Air France brand attributes of ‘pleasure, comfort and peace of mind,’ the campaign, which ran from mid-September to the end of December, offered one of four Biotherm facial packages: two geared at men and two at women. Valued at about $100, each included a mix of facial cleansing gel, moisturizer and other frilly extras, that could be claimed if a return trip, booked for business in first class from Toronto or Montreal, was taken during the time of the promotion.

‘Air France was well-aligned with Biotherm,’ said Rachel Connell, account supervisor at Rapp Collins, adding that it was the client who suggested the partnership. ‘It was a high-end offer targeting a high-end client.’ The slick DM piece also didn’t hurt.

In total, 12,957 direct-mail packages, designed on white backgrounds with sparse copy and bold colours, were sent. They featured splashes of clear-blue water that underscored the themes of Zen, tranquility and refreshment. The actual design of the mailer was also crisp, with the words ‘Renew and rejuvenate’ on opposite sides, which folded to meet. When the side with the word ‘renew’ was opened, the sentence changed, reading: ‘Get the package of your choice and rejuvenate.’

Five weeks later, e-mails followed up to catch those who might have missed the mail-out. The voucher had to be returned at Air France check-in counters in Toronto or Montreal. The Biotherm gift was then mailed to homes after travellers returned to Canada. Connell thinks the campaign worked particularly well because the copy was simple and the design more streamlined than previous DM efforts.

Air France’s marketing manager, Jerome Dufour thinks that very exclusive-feeling promotions also generate good results. ‘The more we go toward personalizing promotions the more success we have.’

The results

About 45% more Fréquence Plus travellers booked their flights and redeemed their voucher during the promotion period compared to the last campaign promotion. Also notable: 50% more Air France flyers signed up to become Fréquence Plus members compared to recruitment during other promotion periods. About 55% entered the promotion online – suggesting that it’s increasingly a medium of choice. And curiously, while a higher percentage of men received the mail-out, 67% of the packages redeemed were for the female Biotherm products. ‘We suspect they were getting them for their wives,’ Connell says.

Client: Air France Fréquence Plus

Agency: Rapp Collins Worldwide, Toronto

CD: Shelley Sutherland

ACD: Barb Williams

Senior copywriter: Laura McLean

Account supervisor: Rachel Connell

Production manager: Estella Tolentino