BDDH features birds in first campaign for bmi

Partners BDDH has unveiled its first national brand campaign for bmi British Midland, which features a family of animated birds.

The multimedia push breaks on 1 April and is the agency's first work for the airline since it won the business from Bartle Bogle Hegarty last July. The work aims to position bmi as the perfect choice of airline carrier for the savvy traveller, as it offers good value with all the benefits of a full-service airline.

Bmi is the UK's third-largest scheduled airline after British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Its new creative idea uses the animated birds as a device to communicate the component parts of bmi's proposition.

Three different TV executions introduce the animated character. One spot, "the network bird", features a bird worn out from flying around bmi's 26 European destinations. In "hot tasty breakfast" the bird coolly chases and eyes a tasty-looking bug, before eventually snapping it up. In the final execution, which will appear in London only, a bird proudly lays a massive egg and the on-screen copy reads: "Check-in baggage at Paddington."

The ads are all accompanied by a laconic 30s soundtrack from Django Reinhardt and Ambrose and his orchestra, and each features the endline: "Those who know fly bmi."

The campaign also uses other media to communicate further benefits of flying with bmi. Supporting activity includes a national outdoor 48-sheet poster campaign, online and national press advertising and a trade launch. The airline's punctuality and one-way fares offer are also supported by a print and inter-net campaign.

Nigel Long, the chief executive of Partners BDDH, said: "The short-haul market is increasingly a retail proposition, where low price has become a generic. Our campaign aims to differentiate bmi on grounds of personality, as well as being strong on product and price messages."

Earlier this year, bmi's marketing director, Simon Gregory, left the company after 14 years, sparking a restructure. Gregory's role was folded in with that of the then sales director, Adrian Parkes, who as commercial director now oversees all areas of the airline's commercial functions.

Gregory was also responsible for last year's advertising review, which resulted in Partners BDDH prising the account out of BBH.

The ads were written and art directed by Murray Blackett and Steve Back, and were directed by Will Byles at One Production. Media planning and buying is through PHD.