Agency: Chiat/Day/Mojo Inc. Advertising Authors: L Schild, S Hancock, H Duthie, J Bertram, J Neary and D Milner

Canadian Airlines


Canadian Airlines was experiencing some turbulence in 1991. A hostile merger with Air Canada was in hot debate at the time of this case (1991 and 1992) and the fate of the airline was much in the news when the company broke with its 'Dawn of Civilized Air Travel' relaunch campaign.

Canadian Airlines was faced with a competitive challenge on the ground (and in the minds of the public) and in the air where its share of the market had sunk to an all-time low. Rather than give up the fight, Canadian went on the offensive. Research into the attitudes and perceptions of frequent air travellers (business travellers) was generating revealing data about their dissatisfaction with 'the reality' of business travel. The clutter of 'me too' seat sale advertising and corporate imaging that typified the existing state of affairs in airline advertising was creating the opportunity to break through with a new vision of what travel was really all about. But would straight-talk and a vision of 'civilized' air travel capture the attention of seasoned business customers? It seemed like a long shot. But the advertising's creative was so lush and eye-catching in both print and TV, the message was so honest and so targeted to the needs of customers and the Wingwalker TV creative raised so many eyebrows along with awareness, that the target market did notice.