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Wishing you 'Flamingo Voinjma Flugplatz'

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Posted by Creative Review, 4 January 2013, 15:51    Permalink    Comments (36)

A new Expedia print campaign from Ogilvy uses airport IATA codes to great effect: just don't expect to see any references to Fukuoka...

The campaign was created by Jon Morgan and Mike Watson. "It all started when we saw a woman walking through Heathrow with the word FUK hanging from her suitcase," they say. "Turned out she'd just flown in from Fukuoka in Japan. That got us thinking, 'maybe there are more'."

Indeed there were – over 9,000 airports around the world, each with its own 3-letter IATA code used to identify the destination of bags.

 

"We trawled through each and every one looking for useable words, half-words and 'almost words'," the team say. "It's amazing what the brain pieces together and makes sense of."

So did they write the copylines to fit the available codes or vice versa? "Some just happened straight away, some we went looking for like WSH EWE WRE ERE [Brookhaven, Ewer Indonesia, Whangarei, Erave] and SUN SEA SND SEX [Sun Valley, Seattle, Seno, Sembach] as they were travel specific," they explain.

 

 

"Others came from writing all the useable codes we could find on a huge sheet of paper and just slogging away until words or phrases made us smile. Each code is real, we tried to get real tags but each one is numbered for security reasons so we made faithful reproductions to get round the problem. We designed, printed, aged and then photographed, took a long time but we wanted it to be as real as it could be.

"At one point we had 36 ads mocked-up. 9 executions eventually ran. There were some amazingly rude ones, which unfortunately will never see the light of day..."

 

Credits
Ad agency: Ogilvy
Copywriter: Jon Morgan
Art director: Mike Watson
ECD: Gerry Human
CD: Paul Mason
CD: Mark Harrison
Design: Mark Osborne
Retouching: Trevor Qizilbash
Traffic: Grant Mason, Peter Nuttal

 

Update
When I saw this work from Ogilvy my first thought was 'this is such a great idea, surely it must have been done before'. I couldn't remember seeing anything, though, and a search through recent awards books and via Google images revealed nothing. However, Luerzer's Archive editor-in-chief Michael Weinzettl has recently posted this BBDO Düsseldorf ad for Bayer Aspirin which featured in the magazine last year and which, yes, uses IATA codes.

There's no suggestion that anyone involved in the Expedia work was aware of this ad. Mike Watson tells me that he had never seen it before and that, after coming up with the idea, they had conducted a search which turned up nothing. I also have some doubts about the Bayer ad's veracity. Would a genuine ad be allowed to feature the logo of a different brand (Lufthansa) so clearly? And where is all the small print/disclaimer text required for pharmaceuticals? Hmmm. Patrick Burgoyne, CR

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36 Comments

Simple and effective, very nice.
Pete
2013-01-04 21:57:08


I just love them, very cleaver.
Kate
2013-01-05 09:47:59


Love this.
David Thompson
2013-01-05 13:44:22


witty!
smart messages that don't leave you feeling scammed..
charity
2013-01-06 18:57:50


This is cool, love it!
Husac
2013-01-07 09:32:01


Fantastic. Great idea, brilliant copywriting, beautifully and simply executed. Has to be a good bet for the upcoming awards season...
Marc Atkinson
2013-01-07 11:01:27


If you want to work out the 'extremely rude ones', here's a good place to start http://www.world-airport-codes.com/ Although someone has preempted this game and made Funchal FNC :-(
Robert Hempsall
2013-01-07 14:37:37


Brilliant work!
Rob Parker
2013-01-07 15:35:18


Fantastic work!
Andrew Reston
2013-01-07 17:39:09


Love seeing some genuinely creative work! Well done guys!
Simon Jackson
2013-01-08 10:08:19


I love this! Really refreshing to see such a single-minded, yet creative idea executed so simply.
Anna Collier
2013-01-08 11:03:10


VRY GUD
Geoff Naylor
2013-01-08 13:26:35


Great to see truly creative work, beautifully executed.
Tim Masters
2013-01-08 13:39:03


I absolutely love these. Seen them in Canary Wharf. Simple but they catch your eye.
Ben Neale
2013-01-08 14:01:42


its not flugplatz but flughafen.
j
2013-01-08 14:31:00


@ j
Look at the picture. The code refers to Flugplatz Wangerooge or just Flugplatz as it is listed on some sites and on the label.
CR PatrickBurgoyne
2013-01-08 14:46:34


Brilliant!
Rick
2013-01-08 14:53:19


Love the use of security hell reality to play with the fantasy of escape, works on many levels...love the quirky stamps which contextualise the statement in the tags. Wonderful to see words played with in such a simple but strong way. The execution belies the hard work that has gone into the campaign. Am going to share this with my students right now....

EKM
Elizabeth Kealy-Morris
2013-01-08 16:15:09


How very This Is Real Art. Which is a compliment.
monogram
2013-01-09 10:14:49


Simple, understanable, recognisable and brilliantly executed.
Neil Frederick
2013-01-09 10:33:29


Award winning. Brilliant idea. So simple and effective.
Maak
2013-01-09 12:06:48


How could Sioux City, Iowa (SUX) not be included. Several other airports could be paired with this, including Bancroft, Ontaio Candad, which would give you ... WRK SUX (ironically as many of us are reading and commenting on this at work.).
Tom
2013-01-09 17:26:57


Amazing art direction. Always collected this stickers for typographic reasons (i once even fixed a broken bag)
Would have loved to read texts with codes we all know: MAD (Madrid) MAN (Manchester) rather than cities nobody goes to (wich looks more like a fake ad (trucho))
Eduard Xandri
2013-01-09 19:55:13


Who was the retoucher?? Great work, well done to him!!
Theresa W
2013-01-10 11:56:08


Well thought out and very clever. It looks so simple and so effective yet it must have taken loads of time, but I bet it was fun though.
Gatwick girl
2013-01-10 14:37:14


http://www.luerzersarchive.net/content/show/id/55444
fpp
2013-01-11 09:42:38


So clever. Simple and effective
Steve
2013-01-11 11:37:53


I think the original idea lives in Green Bay, WI.

http://arketypeinc.com/campaign/austin-straubel-airport-flygrb-campaign
Todd
2013-01-11 22:17:25


In February, 2011, I flew from Austin, TX, to my hometown of Green Bay, WI, to watch, with friends and family, the Packers play in Super Bowl XLV. As I walked through the terminal of Austin Straubel International Airport, I was greeted by a smart promotional campaign. Above me, waved pairs of banners, shaped like luggage tags; one pair read WEL COM, another FLY GRB, while another seemed to know exactly why I was there, they read PKR FAN. Floor decals, of the same shape read GRB THX YOU. When the Champions returned home, to an airport full of adoring, cheering fans, their luggage tags read SPR BWL and TTL TWN.

While the campaign didn't use actual IATA Codes, to promote the airport and community, it was certainly inventive enough to get noticed.
http://www.flygrb.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/Nat'l%20ADDY%20-%20ACI%20awards%20nr%206-12.pdf
http://arketypeinc.com/client/austin-straubel-international-airport
jl
J Lantta
2013-01-12 03:07:51


Excellent execution of an old idea.
EWDC
2013-01-12 14:15:59


Loving this! So simple but really effective.
Nic
2013-01-18 19:30:49


Simple, concise and yet very creative and effective. Good on Expedia for incorporating something that's an integral part of air travel that most of us don't care to notice the majority of the time.
Lilian
2013-01-18 22:53:10


Who was the photographer?
aasd
2013-01-30 16:47:11


Very clever. Love it!
Andrew Isidoro
2013-02-19 12:13:32


Where did they put this work?
Aed
2013-04-05 14:31:59


@Aed
I've seen these all over London - at shopping centres, tube stations and billboards. No idea if there are being used anywhere else in the U.K.

@EWDC
What a charming back handed compliment - you must be very proud.
Kevin
2013-04-05 16:05:58


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