Naomi Kao, account manager of MSLGroup Taiwan, told Campaign Asia-Pacific that the new Taiwan to San Francisco direct route takes only 11 hours and 20 minutes, saving five hours compared with a typical two-leg journey.
UA suspended flights from Taipei to San Francisco via Tokyo in October 2012; since then the carrier had a code-share arrangement with ANA for the route.
ICL MSL is responsible for driving awareness of the route's benefits, raising brand awareness, running media relations and monitoring competitor performance and a media tour to San Francisco. In addition the agency will a gala dinner at the Regent Taipei Hotel on 31 March.
According to Kao, UA’s major competitors in Taiwan are the two national carriers, China Airlines and Eva Air, both of which also have direct daily flights to San Francisco. However, those flights depart in the late evening. The UA flight leaves in the morning and arrives in the US at 7 am, making it a better option for corporate passengers hoping to do business in San Francisco, as well as those who need to transfer to other cities.
The flight targets both corporate clients and tour groups travelling to the US for the first timee. “For most Taiwanese, they are more familiar with New York on the East Coast, while Los Angeles is their priority mind on the West Coast because of the Disneyland, followed by San Francisco,” Kao said.
The client has not retained an agency in Taipei previously, but has worked with different agencies on a project basis, including local PR agency Clavis under the Elite Group. The retainer contract is for one year. ICL MSL worked with UA on a media luncheon in November last year on a project basis and got this retainer business due to good performance.
In the travel industry sector, ICL MSL’s currently works with Hong Kong Tourism Board, and previously worked with Hong Kong Disneyland and KLM.