Creative Director’s Choice: Mills Allison of Levelwing on Delta’s ‘Close the Gap’

Delta's 'Close the Gap' ad

Creative Director’s Choice gives creative directors a chance to highlight the work they think is the best out in the ad world — the ads and campaigns they believe are making a difference.

This week, Mills Allison, director of creative services at Levelwing, talks about the human connection Delta’s ‘Close the Gap’ makes with viewers.

I’ve often quibbled with colleagues and clients about the various merits of their airline of choice and am fascinated with how polarizing these brand experiences can be to different consumers. It’s not to say I don’t love well-timed humor and charismatic wit in most settings, but Delta has found a way to connect with me on a deeper level, above the sheer need and necessity of flying with their current video campaign 'Close the Gap' from Wieden+Kennedy New York.

Airline travel and frustration certainly have a storied tradition with one another, but this campaign has been able to get past the industry’s well-documented shortcomings by sharing a message far more important – one of human experience, connection and exploration. Traveling around the country for client work is great, but this spot captures the essence of personal travel, and its merits far beyond the short-lived annoyances it takes to get there.

The 30-second spot alone challenges me to think beyond the functional needs of a logistic mode of transportation, and more of, ‘how do I further my connection to other human beings?’ And ‘what am I missing out on?’ Couple that with the diversity and openness of the spot, and Delta has me excited to think about a much more meaningful place.

I’ve literally caught myself seeing this ad while watching a baseball game and spiraled into Google searches of countries I hadn’t thought about in years. Don’t get me wrong, if the flight is $200 more on Delta, and I haven’t yet won the lottery, I’ll likely take the cheaper route, but the thought behind the premium experience and aspirational brand voice by Viola Davis has created a believer out of me – and one which I’ll consistently pay a couple bucks more for.

Because after all, isn’t that what great marketing is all about? A brand pulling on a string deep within us that is crying to be strung, whether we knew it or not? Kudos Delta, my passport thanks you.

Mills Allison is director of creative services at Levelwing, an independent digital agency from Charleston, South Carolina with offices in New York and San Francisco.

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To see the latest creative ads and campaigns, visit The Drum’s Creative Works section. If you or your creative director would like to be featured in our Creative Director’s Choice, please contact Kyle O’Brien.

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