RK Laxman's 'Common Man' is going to be the brand ambassador for Air Deccan, the no-frills airlines company.
Captain GR Gopinath, managing director, Air Deccan, says, "None other than the 'Common Man' could have fitted with the brand Air Deccan, which stands for a common man's airline."
Adds Nitish Mukherjee, managing director, Orchard Advertising, "When we started 18 months ago, the idea was to sell a dream. So we said, 'Everyone can fly'. Now we are saying Air Deccan is the 'People's Airline'. It is no longer a statement of intent. Over 1 lakh people have already flown on the Rs 500 ticket. Low cost flying is reality now." Gopinath explains, "Had we gone for a celebrity endorsement, it would have meant incurring huge costs. It would not have been feasible for us since we are a low-cost airlines. In addition, it wouldn't have fitted with the brand image of our enterprise."
He adds, "RK Laxman had done a cartoon on Air Deccan for The Times of India. The idea clicked from there. We contacted Laxman and he agreed to lend his creation - the 'Common Man' - as our mascot."
'Common Man' is a property of RK Laxman, but the cartoon series featuring the 'Common Man', published in The Times of India, is a property of Bennett, Coleman & Co.
The mascot will be painted both on the inside and outside of the aircrafts. The mascot will also be visible in airports and all brand communications of Air Deccan.
In a related development to make the Air Deccan service affordable for every Indian, the airlines has introduced a low cost ticket of Re 1. In effect, the cost of the ticket will be Rs 222 (a ticket for one rupee plus Rs 221 as tax). Till date, the lowest fare on Air Deccan was Rs 500 plus Rs 221 as tax.
Gopinath adds, " During the last one year, we have flown around 1 lakh passengers on the Rs 500 ticket. We plan to sell as many Re 1 tickets now."
Air Deccan operates 106 flights a day to 33 destinations and has 17 aircrafts in its fleet. It has flown around 10 lakh passengers across different destinations. © 2005 agencyfaqs!