Amadeus Case Study
Amadeus is a computer reservations system (or global distribution system, since it sells tickets for multiple travel outlets) owned by the Amadeus IT Group with headquarters in Madrid, Spain. The central database is located at Erding, Germany. The major development centers are located in Bangalore (India), Sophia Antipolis (France) and Boston (United States). In addition to airlines, the CRS is also used to book train travel, cruises, car rental, ferry reservations, and hotel rooms. Amadeus also provides new generation departure control systems to airlines. Amadeus IT Group is a transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry.
What is now known as Amadeus GDS has its roots all the way back to the Eastern Airlines days. Before 1990 and the pre-Internet era, major airlines had either their own or pooled with other airlines reservation organizations that utilized their own software. During the 90s, airlines realized their core business was travel and travel technology but they didn’t want to lose control of preferences in booking seats. American was first by utilizing their in-house system call SABRE and were quickly followed suit by TWA and Delta with WORLDSPAN while United had their own spinoff called APOLLO.
When Eastern Airlines folded, Continental Airlines purchased many of its entities and one was the travel reservation organization called SYSTEM ONE. In the 90s, Continental partnered with Iberia, Air France and Lufthansa to form what is now called Amadeus GDS. However, that transition took over three years and Prism Marketing was responsible for controlling the brand, positioning and communications during that transition.
Objective: Branding Transition/Lead Generation
Competition: Sabre, Worldspan, Apollo
Target: Current/Prospective Travel Agents; Current/Prospective Corporate Travel Managers
Summary: Emotional-based advertising to achieve rebranding of distant third competitor for online travel reservations company. Double entendre slogan and powerful graphics to compel inquiry and trial.
Media: National Magazine, National Newspaper
Results: Increased marketshare to 31% from 18% and moved to second overall position. Increased leads from travel agents from an average of 5 per week to 74 per week.