JetBlue hired a new ad agency as it looks to rebrand itself in the pandemic

  • JetBlue chose Omnicom’s Adam&EveDDB to handle its advertising, dropping IPG’s MullenLowe after 11 years.
  • The airline is looking to cut costs and reposition itself after taking a hit in the pandemic.
  • IPG will continue handling JetBlue’s ad planning and buying.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

JetBlue hired Omnicom’s Adam&EveDDB to handle its advertising, dropping its agency of 11 years, IPG-owned MullenLowe, people with direct knowledge said.

JetBlue launched a search for a new agency in late 2020, telling The Wall Street Journal it was looking to cut costs and convince pandemic-weary consumers to return to the air.

JetBlue cut its advertising to $45 million last year from $66 million in 2019 due to the pandemic as its revenue decreased by more than 63% in 2020.

IPG helped JetBlue use unconventional ads to help stand out as a lower-priced alternative to the major carriers. It offered customers discounts for stealing its own bus stop ads or sitting on a flight with a crying baby. It also bought a spot on New York City’s famous Pepsi-Cola sign when it switched from Coke to Pepsi and promoted a RuPaul’s Drag Race partnership with an installation at JFK International Airport.

MullenLowe sister agency Mediahub will continue handling JetBlue’s media planning and buying work, another person with direct knowledge said.

In an internal memo to employees after losing the account that was reviewed by Insider, MullenLowe leadership cited awards the agency won for its JetBlue work and claimed that it has delivered returns eight to 10 times the size of the company’s ad spending.

“These are the metrics and standards against which JetBlue’s new creative partner will be measured,” the memo read. “In the meantime, MullenLowe US is ready to fly.”

A JetBlue spokesperson told Insider the company was not ready to announce its new agency. Adam&EveDDB did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and MullenLowe deferred to JetBlue for comment.

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