Air France signs with TIFF

The airline is looking to increase its presence in the Toronto market by strengthening its association with film.

Air France has signed on as a first-time sponsor of next month’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Roland Coppens, commercial director of Air France-KLM Canada, said the deal is aimed at increasing the company’s presence in the Toronto market. The sponsorship made sense, he said, since the airline is already strongly associated with film as a long-time partner of the Cannes International Film Festival.

The TIFF partnership is one of the biggest that the airliner has running in Canada. Media on the deal is being done by Montreal-based Czar Media, with creative work done by Havas.

Air France will be activating its sponsorship in a few ways. It will be the presenting sponsor of TIFF’s Platform programme of films, which is meant to embody the next generation of masters of cinema (lLast year’s TIFF Platform programme included 2017 Oscar-winner for Best Picture, Moonlight). This year’s Platform lineup presents 12 films from eight countries competing for the Toronto Platform Prize, which is $25,000 and made possible by Air France.

The brand will also have a presence at the pedestrian-friendly Festival Street, which will run Sept. 7  to 10 near the TIFF Bell Lightbox theatre. Air France will open the Air Bistro Paris, a Paris bistro-type experience that will include free non-alcoholic bubbly and macarons. Last year’s Festival Street attracted an estimated 100,000 visitors. TIFF overall attracts around 480,000 visitors each year.

The company will also give away prizes during the festival, with a top giveaway of a trip to the 2018 Cannes Films Festival, including two business class tickets from Toronto to Nice, one night at the Carleton hotel in Cannes and a four-night stay at Club Med’s Opio Resort in Provence.

Air France’s push to gain visibility in the Toronto market also includes a print, online and TV campaign featuring the brand’s “France is in the Air” messaging. That campaign first went live in the spring and will have a second run in late September after the film festival.