Smart Promo: American Airlines Flies with Disney’s ‘Planes’
As Disney readies to release its animated “Cars”-spinoff “Planes” next month, the studio has a high-flying promotional partner in American Airlines.
Disney and the airline are collaborating on a campaign that includes traditional media buys, promotions and inflight entertainment. Deal also gives the airline the exclusive rights to offer “Planes” to its customers in October, one month before other carriers can play the film.
The 3D toon, originally produced as a direct-to-homevideo release, takes off in theaters Aug. 9, and features the voice of Dane Cook as a crop duster with dreams of competing in a world-famous aerial race.
Project was produced by DisneyToon Studios, a division of Walt Disney Animation Studios, that produced the Tinker Bell pics. Studio was built to get their own franchises off the ground, similar to how Pixar’s sister studio in Vancouver had done with the “Cars Toon” series of shorts.
In return for its marketing efforts, American gets a cameo in the film with its new fleet of Boeing 777-300ER jets represented by a character called Tripp.
Tripp features the airline’s new corporate design, including its new red, white and blue paint job and updated logo. The character can be seen in the film’s trailer and through exclusive teaser, featuring custom animation that was directed by “Planes”-helmer Klay Hall, that American is streaming on its website, Facebook page and on YouTube.
In the spot, developed with advertising agency McCann Worldgroup, characters from the movie, stress American’s latest efforts to upgrade its fleet of planes, new cabin interiors, updated amenities, more inflight entertainment options and seat comfort in every cabin.
Spot premiered on American’s flight from Los Angeles to Dallas.
The integration in “Planes” comes as American Airlines and US Airways are in the midst of merging, which would create the nation’s largest airline.
American Airlines saw the Disney deal as “a fun opportunity to connect with families who know and love the iconic American Airlines brand,” said Rob Friedman, its VP of marketing. “Through this collaboration, we have a lot of great things planned for this summer, including trip promotions and in-airport activities.” All of its efforts will focus on promoting the overhauled airline.