Jetstar's general manager of marketing and PR David May says he's been "very impressed with the experience the M&C Saatchi team demonstrates across the board – from brand and retail advertising to new and digital media".
“They have also shown some unique insights into the local industry and have brought a distinctly Kiwi flavour to their thinking,” he says.
M&C also holds Qantas, so it was the favourite to take the Jetstar account when it went up for pitch in early February.
“We’re stoked . . . and we are really looking forward to getting stuck in, getting their message out there and helping them become even more successful.”
And perhaps help the budget airline recover from 'that difficult launching period' and compete against the undoubted crowd favourite, Air New Zealand.
M&C Saatchi will join independent media specialists ImMediate, who have worked with Jetstar since their launch in 2005, and marketing communications company The Agency Communications on the account.
M&C made some significant staff changes last year, with a new chief executive, executive creative director and planning director being brought in to complement its existing brand and retail advertising and spice up its digital offering.
And Jetstar's move to a more digitally-focused agency in New Zealand makes sense: in Australia, Jetstar has just decided to move 40 percent of its marketing spend away from "expensive and fragmented" traditional media into social media, marking a fairly massive shift for a major brand.
May told Mumbrella the decision was based on trials during 2009 and it will be implemented during the next financial year.
“The significant shift in marketing spend shows Jetstar’s increased focus on social media and acknowledges the significance of social and digital media as a marketing tool.”
“The increase in costs of traditional media compared with the audience reach is significantly higher than with social media, where you can potentially reach hundreds of thousands of consumers with the one simple online message – and digital TV isn’t filling the gap.”
He added: “It’s clear our customers are comfortable in the online space and as Jetstar is essentially an online retailer, it makes sense for us to embrace social media outlets. Online media channels gives us immediate access to our consumers. Social media offers more value for money and is a smarter way to reach our customers.”
The social media strategy may have worked in Australia (it recently gave away 1000 2c tickets on Twitter to celebrate its fifth birthday), but M&C will have plenty of work to do to improve the airline's online reputation in Kiwiland considering how badly it got burned in that space during its launch.