Welcome to the Next Chapter

Marketing Campaigns-Medium Airport

After creating a new brand identity for Pittsburgh International Airport in April of 2016, in part to signify our transformation and revitalization as an origin and destination airport and to reflect the revitalization of the region we serve, we needed a marketing campaign to take that brand and message out into the community. A comprehensive and integrated marketing program was developed and executed utilizing a blend of owned, paid and earned media focused on three key messages: increased air service, improved customer service and a renaissance to better reflect the region we so proudly serve.

Entry Statement

1. Project Goals: 

After numerous years of media coverage mourning the loss of the hub and residents being told they “couldn’t get anywhere from here,” a survey conducted by the firm Civic Science demonstrated what we at PIT feared was true. The survey showed that 42% of people polled in this region thought you could fly to 15 or fewer nonstop destinations. The actual number has never been that low; the real figure at the time of the survey was more than 50, which itself was a 30% increase in just under a year and was growing every month. We needed to change public perception and fast.

2. Production: 

CSK Advertising developed the media plan and conducted the media buy. MarketSpace Communications was our partner in producing the creative and much of the content for the marketing program, which consisted in part of:

A short animated video was produced to bring to life the transformation the airport was undergoing. Messaging parallels the ongoing progress of both Pittsburgh International and the region of Pittsburgh as a whole. This was shown throughout the terminals, on our website and on our YouTube channel. We also shared it with as many community partners as possible to get the word out to their constituencies. YouTube video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XLOBEkwqC4

A blend of print, radio—very strong in Pittsburgh—and highly targeted digital advertising helped ensure the reach we needed and to get the message out in a controlled, unfiltered manner.

Social Media
Social media platforms were rebranded and messaging using the “Onward” theme became prevalent on original posts as well as retweets and other social shares.

Media Relations
The media were engaged and embraced the new campaign. Reports on the initial rebrand were positive and key messaging for all subsequent stories helped ensure consistency of message. Through earned media, we not only helped ensure repeated or additional reach, but also that those messages were received with the implied, inferred and sometimes direct endorsement thanks to the third-party credibility of the media.

Community Outreach
Airport representatives attended weekly farmer’s markets in downtown Pittsburgh during the summer, pairing up with various airlines as we offer information to the Pittsburgh community as well as giveaways from the airport and airline partners.

Internal Communications
The most important, and unfortunately most often overlooked audience, we shared all of the above with our employees first, letting them know what was about to happen before it did, giving them sneak peeks and garnering buy-in, which made their support of the new brand and marketing campaign that much stronger.

3. Evaluation: 

Since revealing our new brand identity in April 2016, media coverage, social media response and website activity have all been positive. Passenger traffic at Pittsburgh International Airport increased 4.3 percent in May (over May 2015), with a total of 737,823 passengers and 4.6 percent increase in June (over June 2015) for a total of 780,863. We had 450,000 website visits from the timespan of May 25 through June 2016, more than one third of the total year to date traffic, including 282,000 new users. The click thru rate for our digital ad campaign as of June 2016 was .14%, above the industry average of .10%, generating 2.43 million impressions in the timespan of May-June 2016.

4. Budget: 

Specific Dollar Amount Spent: $120,000 allocated to MarketSpace, $250,000 allocated to CSK Advertising for the media buy.