Radio Advertising: 1st Place

Treatment for Winter Misery Disorder Radio Campaign

The Gander International Airport hosts a winter charter series directly from Gander to Dominican Varadero, Cuba.

The airport authority rolled out a special campaign highlighting the therapeutic effects of a winter vacation. Gander sees almost 14 feet of snow annually – the highest of any city in North America – and endures a long and trying winter.

The campaign was a parody of pharmaceutical advertisements. The radio campaign featured one one-minute flagship ad, supplemented by a series of 30-second “customer testimonials”. While primarily driven through local radio, it had complementary components including a print media buy in local newspapers, a contest in conjunction with Sunwing Airlines and Mercure Hotels and a sustained campaign on the airport’s Facebook page and Twitter, including the development of a series of winter weather-related memes and posts.

Project Goals: 
  • Create broad awareness of direct service to Cuba
  • Buoy passenger traffic to sunspot destinations from Gander
  • Establish a campaign that resonated with locals and generated social media traffic

The Gander International Airport Authority has one dedicated marketing person and a nominal marketing budget. The radio scripts were penned by the airport’s Director of Marketing but voiced by talent at the carrying radio station at no cost. Supporting print advertisements, social media copy, memes and other content was also produced entirely in house by the airport’s marketing department with no external agency involvement.


Hard benchmarks on passenger performance will need to be assessed as detailed flight performance becomes available, but early indications point to a 15% increase in travel to sun destinations, as represented by the Caribbean, Florida and Arizona.

The contest component generated 1,400 entries in a market of roughly 140,000 people. Facebook views and reach for the social media content related to the campaign received of a reach of 44,000.


The radio campaign was undertaken in the five primary radio stations in Gander’s market, including K-ROCK and VOCM. Complementary print advertising was undertaken in five of the weekly newspapers over a two week span. These media were chosen because they provided the broadest coverage of the catchment area the airport serves. Total project cost, including in-house “sweat” was $5,660, broken out as follows:

  • Radio Advertising - $2,800
  • Print/Newspaper Advertising - $1,900
  • Facebook Post Boosting - $110
  • Contest Prize Money ($225 Cuban Convertible Pesos = $250 CDN)
  • Staff Time – Creative/Copy/Layout - $40/hr x 15 hrs = $600