CLOSE-UP: GLOBAL BRIEF - Putting Thailand on the map. So, a Bangkok agency won a global task. Jade Garrett explains the significance

Spaulding & Hawi DDB - based in Bangkok - has put itself, and the country, on the advertising map by becoming the first Thai agency to win a global account.

Spaulding & Hawi DDB - based in Bangkok - has put itself, and the

country, on the advertising map by becoming the first Thai agency to win

a global account.



After a four-way pitch including unnamed agencies from Chicago, London

and Dubai, Spaulding & Hawi DDB scooped the Bt240 million (pounds 4

million) global account for Ethiopian Airlines.



’We went into the initial presentations with a solution to their

problems,’ Steve Watkins, an account director at the agency, says. ’We

simply pointed out that the client is from a third world developing

country and needed to address its image.’



A campaign targeting audiences in Europe and the United States is airing

now, with TV work appearing on CNN and print ads in Time, the Washington

Post and the New York Times. ’The focus is on the modern face of the

airline,’ Watkins adds.



One press ad running in Time magazine carries the line, ’The advantage

of being beautifully maintained’, and appears next to a photograph of an

attractive air hostess. ’We are trying to say that our staff, but more

importantly our aircraft, are modern and well looked after,’ Watkins

comments.



Watkins also realises that it’s a risky business drawing consumers’

attention to the negative issues surrounding a third world airline.

’People often associate Africa with famine and violence. We obviously

don’t want to draw people’s attention to worries they may not already

have,’ he says.



Ron Spaulding and Thorleif Hawi, who founded the agency in 1993, have

worked on major airline accounts before, including SAS and Thai

International, but the obvious difference this time was the obstacle of

working long distance.



Watkins has travelled to Addis Ababa nine times in recent months and

says that it isn’t proving as problematic as he first thought it might

be. ’If anything, it sharpened us to be on the edge and deliver complete

jobs on time, but occasionally it means that the work must speak for

itself if nobody can make the trip.’



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