StrawberryFrog spawns new advertising era for Emirates

The airline decides to drop its long-standing "Keep Discovering" slogan.

Emirates Airline has decided to drop its long-standing "Keep Discovering" slogan and has appointed a new global communications partner to help refresh its brand. Boutros Boutros, the divisional senior vice president of corporate communications at Emirates, said the "Keep Discovering" tagline had served its purpose. "It delivered what it needed to for Emirates. There was nothing wrong with it, but we believe it's served its days, and we're coming up with something more global. When you grow like Emirates has done, your communications strategy needs to grow in parallel," he said.

The airline announced yesterday that it had selected the advertising agency StrawberryFrog as its global lead communications partner. Working from its Amsterdam office, the agency will be "rolling out a new brand platform for Emirates that will reflect the airline's ambition to become one of the world's most recognised global brands", the airline said yesterday. Sir Maurice Flanagan, the carrier's founding chief executive and executive vice chairman, said StrawberryFrog had been chosen after a four-way pitch among agencies.

Sir Maurice said the "Keep Discovering"slogan had been a success."It's used in all kinds of different circumstances - advertising, corporate communications, PR, sponsorship and even management". He hinted it may not disappear altogether. "It's something we can use time and time again." Mr Boutros confirmed StrawberryFrog would help the airline develop a new slogan. Emirates will retain its existing media agencies and Mr Boutros said it works with 48 public relations agencies and "more than 100" advertising and media agencies globally.

Emirates was last week named one of the UAE's best-known companies by Superbrands, an independent organisation of brand experts. But the airline was placed behind Dubai Duty Free, which won the Brand of the Year award. Mike English, the director of Superbrands Middle East, said Emirates had lost some of its connection with the UAE public. "The personal emotion is not there as strongly as it used to be."

Hermann Behrens, the chief executive of The Brand Union Middle East, which has previously worked with Emirates Group companies, said the airline's branding had been "very strong" over the past six years. "Perhaps one issue Emirates does have is that they've positioned themselves very strongly in the tourism space, rather than the business space. Perhaps that's something they will consider," added Mr Behrens.

bflanagan@thenational.ae

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