INTERNATIONAL: A progressive approach wins for McCann
Despite not being fully appreciated in its own hometown of Hong
Kong, Cathay Pacific is deemed a world-class airline by any
Its ultimate goal, however, is to be the world's most admired
The total campaign strategy devised by McCann-Erickson is based on the
The communication strategy focuses on how progressive Cathay Pacific is
in all its areas of operation - having the youngest fleet of aircraft,
an award-winning lounge at Chek Lap Kok, innovative inflight
entertainment, and so on.
The logic was being progressive in everything it does would give
passengers, other airlines, the media and Hong Kong people real reasons
to admire Cathay Pacific.
This strategy drove the media idea (progressive = innovation).
The media challenge then became finding a way to achieve the necessary
cut-through on a tight budget, when the traditional approach was to
dominate on size.
The decision was made to communicate in a relevant way how progressive
Cathay Pacific is.
Multiple executions, each with a specific product attribute, were
created to communicate the overall strategy.
The media strategy
The overriding decision on specific media strategies and tactics was
based on the need to connect with key constituencies in relevant
dayparts, while they were in a relevant mindset.
A number of Universal McCann proprietary tools were used to highlight
intersecting moments between media consumption, consumer mindset and
Multiple media vehicles were necessary to deliver the reach required to
launch the campaign, but tonnage alone would not deliver the desired
Universal McCann therefore had to innovate to cut through the myriad of
clutter in both the media it needed to use, and in the market in
Media selected included television, print, transit media and
McCann also had to push the limits of very conservative media
The core to its negotiation was the desire to drive progressiveness and
innovation in every phase of the campaign.
At least one new media idea was the goal in each phase.
In the period from launch in August to October 2000, Universal McCann
claimed to have achieved a number of firsts in Hong Kong and Asian
- First to place posters the full length of the MTR travellator, which
is also the longest indoor ad in Hong Kong history;
- First to place an advertisement (die-cut) across the middle of a front
page of a daily newspaper;
- First to use three vertical column strip ads on a single spread;
- First to use four corner ads;
- First to use border ads in the daily press;
- First to use centre and top banners with die-cut ads;
- First to use customised weather page ads in an English-language
- First to use New World Powerphones, an innovative/interactive
These 'firsts' were surrounded by traditional executions in media that
provided the necessary weight to provide a solid communication
* This issue, the ongoing National Geographic Showcase series features
material from one of the Certificate of Excellence winners in the Best
Use of Media category in MEDIA's Agency of the Year Awards 2000.