Air Miles moves to Media Experts

The loyalty program has concluded a large-scale agency review as it contends with COVID's impact on travel-related rewards.

Air Miles has named Media Experts its new media agency of record following a review of many of its agency relationships. The media account was previously held by Ahfield Media.

The roster review is part of an effort to help the loyalty program communicate the updates it has made to keep its loyalty program relevant in a time when travel isn’t a priority for most people.

Beyond the media account shift, the brand’s roster now includes Broken Heart Love Affair as its lead agency for brand strategy, Fuse Create for experiential and shopper marketing (the former previously handled by T1) and Ogilvy leading on PR and social (taking over from North Strategic).

Rachel MacQueen, SVP of collector experience and marketing at Air Miles, says that while travel restrictions and the lack of travel desire has impacted flight-related redemptions, the program has seen double-digit growth in merchandise redemption.

In the summer, Air Miles launched national and regional buys to support a campaign called “Rewarding Canadians, every day,” which featured members and their stories to highlight the fact that someone in Canada achieves an Air Miles reward every two seconds. Then in November, it began running an associated campaign introducing 1,000 products in this reward pipeline, so collectors can get more rewards for fewer miles through the Air Miles Cash program, which launches next week and will allow members to redeem points for digital vouchers to be redeemed at partner vendors.

The agency change will likely not result in a strategic shift in the near future. In 2021, MacQueen says Air Miles will continue to focus on coalition partners and the program’s 11 million members, “using our media dollars to remind them of the myriad ways to get value through the program.”

MacQueen says when it comes to a more personalized connection with collectors, Air Miles put together “Happy Everyday,” two months of daily content through the Air Miles Facebook page in an effort to engage with consumers more frequently and to introduce a bit of levity in a trying time, with opportunities to engage with musicians and celebrities, for example, or play trivia games in exchange for prizes.

With files from Jeromey Lloyd