CAMPAIGNS: BAA’s train service gets flying start - Travel pr

Edelman was appointed to support the launch of BAA’s new Heathrow Express check-in service at Paddington station. Billed as the world’s largest city centre terminal, the service offers 27 check-in desks, representing 19 airlines including British Airways, American Airlines and Lufthansa.

Edelman was appointed to support the launch of BAA’s new Heathrow

Express check-in service at Paddington station. Billed as the world’s

largest city centre terminal, the service offers 27 check-in desks,

representing 19 airlines including British Airways, American Airlines

and Lufthansa.



Travellers can check their bags in at Paddington a minimum of two hours

before departure, receive their boarding card and hop on the Heathrow

Express for the 15-minute journey to Heathrow.



The opening, held on 23 June and attended by Minister for Transport

Helen Liddell and BAA chief executive Sir John Egan, coincided with the

first anniversary of the express service.



Objectives



To achieve awareness of the check-in service in the UK and abroad and to

create the perception that Paddington is a world class departure and

arrival point.



Strategy and Plan



Edelman’s brief was to create a high quality, high profile event which

would generate interest from the international press, invited guests and

consumers.



A month before the launch, the agency began regular contact with key

media, sending countdown releases containing essential facts about the

new service and launch event.



To further stimulate interest, three teaser postcards were sent on

consecutive days echoing the Andy Warhol style of the advertising

campaign and reiterating the main selling points of the new service.



Two weeks before the opening, Edelman negotiated a profile piece on

Heathrow Express chairman Alan Thomas in Sunday Business, followed a

week later by a feature on Heathrow Express’ marketing strategy. Local

media were invited to cover a story about Olympic weightlifter Precious

Mckenzie spending a day showing 60 new baggage handlers how to lift

correctly.



The day before the launch, a 16-page sponsored supplement on the service

appeared in the Evening Standard.



Transport Minister Helen Liddell unveiled the new check-in facilities

accompanied by pyrotechnics and dramatic music. Representatives from the

airlines then stepped forward to take part in a photocall.



Around 250 people attended the event, including 45 from the media, plus

commercial partners of Heathrow Express and Railtrack and political

figures.



Sir John Egan and Alan Thomas were both available for interview, and

guests could experience the new service for themselves.



Measurement and Evaluation



London Today and Meridian Television attended the event and ran news

stories on their main bulletins. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today

carried interviews. Altogether, there were 12 items in national papers,

including the Times, Guardian and Mail on Sunday, 17 in regional media,

and more than 50 in international media, including CNN and the Los

Angeles Times.



Trade coverage was also considerable, both at the event and in the weeks

preceding it, including Travel Trade Gazette and ABTA Magazine. On-line

coverage included Associated Press, PA News, MSNBC, Foxnews, CNN

Interactive and Boston Globe.



Edelman’s evaluation shows that all key messages were achieved and the

client is reported to be very pleased.



No targets were set for passenger numbers, but the client has said that

the number of people using the check-in service is satisfactory.



Results



The volume of coverage achieved was commendable, particularly

internationally and in light of the fact that Railtrack had organised a

similar event the week before and that Sir John Egan had been

extensively interviewed when BAA announced its results a couple of weeks

beforehand.



The teaser campaign and glitzy launch certainly helped generate

coverage, and also conveyed the brand image.



Client: BAA Heathrow Express

PR Team: Edelman PR Worldwide

Campaign: Launch of check-in service at Paddington

Timescale: April - June 1999

Budget: Undisclosed



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.