Aeroplan lifts off into mass media

The loyalty program launches its first media campaign since 2006, using newspaper, web and radio to reinvigorate the brand and take on the competitive loyalty program environment.

As the marketplace for air travel loyalty programs has exploded in recent years as credit cards and banks have entered the game, Montreal-based Aeroplan has embarked on its first mass media strategy since 2006 to bring its brand back to the front of the pack.

Launched this week, the campaign splashes the brand’s signature orange hue across newspapers in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver and over 20 websites, including,,,, and major Canadian portals. The campaign also includes 10-second radio spots during weather and traffic on stations in the same four cities, as well as advertising on its own properties, including Arrival and EnRoute magazines and its website. Creative was handled by Sid Lee, while media was handled by Touche! PHD, both of Montreal.

David Klein, VP marketing planning and program development, says that the company’s goal was to ‘regain control of the consumer conversation’ by reaching out beyond its normal channels of member-targeted dialogue.

‘This campaign marks a different approach for Aeroplan, which is usually focused on partners and promotions,’ he tells MiC. ‘[Here] the brand and program strengths are front and centre. The new focus is designed to take back the message and cut through the clutter of an increasingly competitive environment. We also want to combat some of the misconceptions about the Aeroplan program.’

Creatively, the campaign will forgo traditional travel imagery and focus instead on its signature orange hue and visuals of a different sort, such as the choose-your-plane-seat graphic of the Air Canada site.

The new campaign also highlights the Reward Travel Ticker on, which will show the first name and destination of about 100 Aeroplan members travelling on reward seats that day.

‘We wanted to add something on our website that would engage members and enable them to see where fellow members are travelling to, essentially increasing involvement in the brand,’ said Klein. ‘It’s a simple means of demonstrating how many members travel on reward seats with Aeroplan.’

This is the first phase of the campaign, which is planned to continue through 2010.