National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines (VNA) called the global pitch in July last year, but it was abruptly cancelled three months later after none of the 17 bidding agencies proved up to scratch. The pitch resumed in February this year.
More than a year since launching the pitch, JWT Vietnam has now been awarded VNA's creative business. The agency's remit includes 25 countries, covering strategy and brand campaigns for the 2012 to 2016 period.
MPG will handle the full media planning and buying duties for the carrier. The business will be led by MPG Vietnam out of Ho Chi Minh City with the support of the global MPG network.
VNA has outlined ambitious growth plans and is understood to be repositioning itself as one of Asia’s top-tier airlines. It was reported earlier this year that VNA plans to overtake Thai Airways International by 2020 to become Southeast Asia’s number two carrier after Singapore Airlines.
JWT Vietnam was said to be the best creative agency aligned to this growth target, having demonstrated how to take the brand offer to a global scale.
Sabyasachi Mishra, CEO JWT Vietnam said, “The making of a young and rising airline brand is truly exciting and we look forward to building Vietnam Airlines as a top carrier from the region.”
Vishnu Mohan, CEO of Havas Media APAC, added that the account was a “great win” for the network.
“This not only gives us an opportunity to leverage our expertise in travel and leisure category but also to work with an airline with aggressive plans of global expansion," he said.