Agency.com, British Airways Serve Up Wimbledon Prizes, Etiquette Tips

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With Wimbledon kicking off today, Agency.com and client British airways have implemented an timely, refined online promotion to tie-in with the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament.

Considering that the Wimbledon fete even requires its players to wear all-white, there is a certain decorum to be expected of its fans. While the campaign, which kicked off last, is mainly a brand awareness push for British Airways, the airline and Agency.com couldn’t have picked a better time to launch a sweepstakes and Flash-enabled banner ads that school Americans on the ways to behave at the All-England Club.

“What we were trying to achieve here is to basically build preference and first choice for British Airways through its association with Wimbledon,” Scott Briskman, Agency.com Creative Director, explains to ADOTAS. “That’s the objective goal we set out for the campaign as a whole, [British Airways being] the sponsor for Wimbledon and both being the quintessential British brands.”

He continues, “Bringing it down to the tactical level, why the campaign is what it is, we wanted to try and create something that Americans could relate to—people who are thinking about traveling from a leisure perspective over to London specifically or beyond.”

Agency.com has indeed designed some relatable send-to-a friend banners, which not only advise Americans on Brit-speak, but offer Flash-animated shorts that will teach visitors the customary snack–strawberries and cream rather than chili dog–, as well as why #1 foam fingers and air horns are ‘just not done’ at Wimbledon.

“I think one of the key aspects of it was making it funny and letting people relate to it,” Agency.com Account Director Doug Kunreuther adds. “I think we could probably think of a dozen things that are funny in British, but the key was tying it back to something that Americans would relate to and not only does that end up showing the proper etiquette and educating consumers, but what it actually does is shows that BA knows London and Britain best, and that’s really part of the main goal of all of this: tying it back to that BA provides the authentic London experience.”

A voiceover narrates the action and a viral component lets visitors forward the episode to a friend. After an episode plays, visitors can scroll through the ad unit and play additional etiquette advice while a voiceover encourages further engagement, including giving visitors the recipe for a Pimms® Cup, a popular drink served at Wimbledon.

Visitors also learn that one of the best ways to attend a match is to ask a departing guest to pass along their ‘debenture’ tickets, and are gently reminded to refrain from partaking in popular American customs like ‘the wave.’

But along with the ad units, the sweepstakes component of the Wimbledon campaign should keep visitors engage beyond the British witticisms. “There’s an association with this, in that there’s a sweepstakes that we run every year where basically there’s two prizes,” Briskman says. “The grand prize is one lucky person gets to bring a friend over to London, they stay in 4-star hotels, and they get to go to the men’s and women’s finals at Wimbledon. The first prize is very similar. One lucky person gets to bring a friend over to London for a week and stay in 4-star hotels, but obviously not during Wimbledon.”

He adds, “In an ideal world, the other angle on this is that we are educating you on as to what you should and shouldn’t do at Wimbledon, because if you play our sweepstakes, you have a chance to actually go there.”

Web surfers can enter the sweepstakes at the newly redesigned British Airways London site, and it will run beyond Wimbledon through July 10th. In accordance, banner buys with the viral, animated ad units are currently running on ESPN.com, CBSSportsline and Yahoo! Sports, all leading to the banner page as well.

Serve it up, Brit-style at london.ba.com

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