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A brush with JetLite campaign gives birth to Air Deccan’s ‘We’d rather you smile :)’ campaign

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A brush with JetLite campaign gives birth to Air Deccan’s ‘We’d rather you smile :)’ campaign

It’s a sky war that is being fought on ground. And the battlefield in this case is Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Terminal 1-A. Equus Red Cell has decided to match JetLite’s OOH campaign, which states: ‘Our smile lights up 502 flights to go over 50 cities every day’, smile for smile for its client Air Deccan.

JetLite’s message is accompanied by photos of its smiling staff. The OOH campaign created by Equus Red Cell for Air Deccan states: ‘We’d rather you smile :)’, and features the smiling faces of its passengers. The message is simple and clear – Air Deccan cares more for its passengers than its staff.

In a coup of sorts, the Air Deccan billboard has been strategically placed next to the JetLite billboard at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport.

When asked how the Air Deccan campaign came about, Swapan Seth, CEO, Equus Red Cell, said, “The Air Deccan account is handled by Rediffusion DY&R. I had just landed at the Mumbai airport, saw the Jet hoarding and thought of doing something for Kingfisher. It is later that we discovered that it was for JetLite and, therefore, we positioned it under Air Deccan. So, it was quite by accident.”

Seth further said that it was a whim that seemed to have attracted media attention. “Like I said, I reacted on a whim and thus thought this would also give Air Deccan the sprightly, tongue-in-cheek personality and move it to a high thrills position in communication terms,” he added.

Commenting on the intention of the campaign, Seth said, “Great brands are dynamic and reactive. The intention is to further bolster the entire DNA of the brand being a fun one.”

Seth, however, refrained from commenting on if there was any possibility of taking this ‘campaign war’ to any other level in the future. “That is in the realm of speculation, so no comment,” was all he would say.

The ‘sky war campaign’ began around a year ago when Kingfisher Airlines created a spin-off campaign when Jet Airways underwent a brand makeover. Jet’s outdoor campaign said, ‘We have changed’, Kingfisher came up with a strategically placed hoarding close by, which said, ‘We made them change’. The implication was simple that it was competitive pressures from Kingfisher that persuaded Jet to rebrand itself.

The recent campaign takes the so-called war further. Both the earlier Kingfisher campaign and the latest Air Deccan campaign were created by Equus Red Cell.


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Prior to joining Madison PR in 2012 Chaudhary was Group President Corporate Communications at Reliance Industries Limited.