Boeing [NYSE: BA] and AOL Time Warner Inc. [NYSE: AOL] today announced a marketing alliance that will engage people from around the world in the development of a new airplane, the Boeing 7E7. The Boeing 7E7 is a super-efficient, mid-sized airplane that is expected to enter service in 2008.
As part of this joint effort, Boeing and AOL Time Warner are unveiling several online and offline initiatives designed to engage consumers in the development of the new plane.
To kick off the campaign, AOL members will have exclusive online access to a 360-degree animated tour of the new airplane for 30 days before it is available to the general public. This is part of a comprehensive feature on AOL celebrating "100 Years of Flight" (AOL Keyword: 100 Years of Flight). AOL's "100 Years of Flight" celebration also offers a retrospective photo gallery showing highlights from the past 100 years of aviation.
People from around the world are able to participate in the "Name Your Plane" effort and have the opportunity to select from four possibilities for the name of the new plane Dreamliner, eLiner, Global Cruiser and Stratoclimber. Votes can be placed through AOL (AOL Keyword: Boeing) or on the World Wide Web at www.newairplane.COM and www.timeforkids.com. AOL members and non-members in China, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States can also participate in a sweepstakes* to win prizes.
Rob Pollack, vice president of Branding for Boeing Commercial Airplanes Marketing, said the new marketing approach and alliance with AOL Time Warner opens up a whole new world of opportunity for Boeing to understand the priorities and needs of the flying public.
"You can expect to see a whole new approach to how we tell the world about the airplane and encourage participation and feedback in the work we are doing," Pollack said. "We are looking at our new airplane as an opportunity to change the way we do business."
Naming the airplane is just the first step of involvement for those who volunteer to be part of the World Design Team, a virtual community that those who go to the sweepstakes site will be able to join. Members of the team will be provided with future opportunities to participate in the development of the Boeing 7E7, including surveys concerning design elements and sneak peeks as the design of the exterior and interior evolves.
In addition, Boeing and AOL Time Warner are making a special effort to involve children in the naming of the airplane. A special TFK Extra issue of TIME For Kids, which reaches more than 2 million students in grades four through six, features the history of flight, introduces kids to the Boeing 7E7 and invites them to help name the new plane. The special issue, "A New Dream Takes Wing," will be in classrooms across the United States beginning today.
"Boeing has a long history of supporting education, so it's natural that they would provide educators with a rich resource to engage kids in a celebration of a century of flight and involve them in the excitement of a new plane," said Leanna Landsmann, president of TIME For Kids. "Teachers know that this issue will be a 'keeper' in kids' scrapbooks for years to come, because kids love airplanes and all they represent."
"We expect a lot of entries into the Name Your Plane effort," Landsmann added. "Who wouldn't want to win a chance to co-pilot a Boeing airplane at Boeing's full-motion Flight Simulator? All of us at TFK are proud to partner with the world's leader in commercial aviation to introduce kids to the next century of flight."
Terry Crane, vice president of Education and Family Products for AOL, said, "Many AOL members have a strong interest in aviation, so the opportunity to be the first to see the online animation of the Boeing 7E7 is something we know will excite them. Our 100 Years of Flight feature combines a compelling look at the new airplane with detailed information about the aircraft and an overview of milestones in aviation history. What better way to show the world a new airplane?"
The Boeing Company is the world's leading aerospace company, with its heritage mirroring the history of flight. It is the largest manufacturer of satellites, commercial jetliners and military aircraft. The company is also a global market leader in missile defense, human space flight and launch services. In terms of sales, Boeing is the largest exporter in the United States. Total company revenues for 2002 were $54.1 billion.
About AOL Time Warner
AOL Time Warner is the world's leading media and entertainment company, whose businesses include interactive services, cable systems, filmed entertainment, television networks, music and publishing.
*For Official Rules, go to the 7E7 web site or visit AOL Keyword: Boeing