Why Saving the Animals Is Smart PR

April 14 2010, 9:25 AM

You don't need an expert in public relations to tell you that Republic Airways scored big in deciding to preserve the brand of its recent acquisition, Frontier Airlines. The outpouring of online support at places like the Save the Frontier Animals Facebook page said it all. Nobody seems too upset that Republic's Wisconsin-based Midwest Airlines' brand would be replaced by a Frontier airplane with a badger, Wisconsin's state animal, on the tail. The creatures, after all, are are "what people recognize," Linda Allen, an employee of Frontier for eight years, tells The Associated Press, adding that her children look out to the gates to find out who their "travel companion" will be. Ian Arthur, vice president of brand and marketing for Republic, thinks even more people will now learn of Frontier's "whole different animal" campaign. "It's our opportunity to go and introduce the rest of America to what Denver has known and loved for several years," he says, noting that his favorite spokes-animal is Larry the Lynx. The Denver Business Journal speaks with Bryan Bedford, president and chief executive of Republic, who says the Frontier brand, which Republic salvaged from bankruptcy last year, "is healthier and has much broader reach nationwide. The iconic spokes-animals had a high identity level in our research, both with frequent customers and people who hadn't flown on either airline."

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