Red takes off with NewLeaf Travel

The new, low-cost entrant to the air travel category is one of four new accounts recently picked up by the agency.

Edmonton- and Vancouver-based agency Red has begun work on a number of national wins, including low-cost travel company NewLeaf Travel.

As part of the assignment, which came in October, Red is serving as a strategic partner for NewLeaf, advising on digital media planning, strategy and helping to develop a creative platform for the new airline brand.

NewLeaf is classified as a ticket reseller, currently buying seats on flights operated by B.C.-based Flair Airlines and offering them to the public at a low cost. The company’s model is based on finding ways to reduce its own costs so those savings can be passed on to consumers, such as avoiding major transportation hubs in favour of small- and mid-sized urban centres like Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Halifax, among others. Its first flight took off last summer.

NewLeaf has its own internal team that has handled executing its creative work. One of Red’s mandates is to develop a creative platform that is versatile enough to be applied to the range of frequently-changing prices and deals it offers customers, which will be executed by that in-house team for the sake of efficiency.

“With NewLeaf, you can fly from Edmonton to Kelowna for $38, so the creative and the media approach is going to be reflective of that same efficient, smart approach,” says Craig Redmon, creative director at Red. “The creative is going to reflect that, so it can be turned over quickly will all the changing prices they have to deal with. It’s also going to be deliberately more cheerful and cheeky, contrary to everything else in the category.”

NewLeaf is among four new clients that Red picked up in the later part of 2016. In the early fall, it won the business for Ontario-based Prism Care, which manufactures cleaning products using natural ingredients under its Eco-Max brand. Red will develop a refreshed brand platform and new websites for Prism’s lines of cleaning products.

Also in the early fall, it was awarded the business for Cervus Equipment, a national retailer of agricultural, transportation and industrial equipment. Red will lead a national campaign focusing on the retailer’s selection of John Deere products that is set to launch in the spring. The campaign will also run in Australia and New Zealand, supporting Cervus’s recent expansions in those markets.

In December, the agency picked up HearCanada, an offshoot of hearing aid and hearing care retailer HearUSA that is preparing its Canadian expansion, beginning in British Columbia and Ontario. Red will support the expansion from a strategic and creative perspective and help determine what the HearCanada brand is compared to HearUSA, Redmond says.

All four of the new accounts came without a formal pitch or RFP process.

“We’ve been laying a lot of groundwork and building relationships for the past year,” Redmond says. “All of these brands are also national. We’ve concentrated almost entirely on building business in Edmonton and Vancouver. But these brands sought us out from out of country and out of province. That made us realize that we can be national and represent brands that are bigger than our own backyard.”

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