After creating the logo and website for CHO, we jumped on the opportunity to broadcast the new face of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport. In a previous article I mentioned the demographic slicing we did to create a targeted marketing plan. The first stop in that plan was to create an ad series to run in local print media.
The philosophy of the marketing plan is to position CHO as a high-quality experience on your journey to the world. To that end, we leveraged imagery from destinations in a way that is more authentic than most instances in which stock photography is used. CHO really can get you to those places and has a rightful claim to the benefits they bestow. Specific events and destinations pull in specific demographics in CHO’s service market.
The ads are comprised of a headline on a dramatic nighttime image, and an information area to the right. Night photos – with their blurriness, many points of light, and heightened contrast – tend to feel more like a dream than reality. They provide the dreamy sizzle while the headline text cements the destination and the idea that amazing destinations and events are accessible through CHO.
Aside from our lofty goal of positioning CHO as a great experience, we addressed the real world issue of the perception that as a small local airport, CHO is less competitive on fares. We made it a point to include in each ad a mention of one of the many flights originating from CHO that are competitively priced. It’s important as a brand that represents quality that this tactic didn’t come across with a used-car lot appeal. We placed it as a gentle reminder to check CHO before you go, rather than a hard sell.
The series of six ads was formatted to run in several print media simultaneously. Despite a slowing economy, traffic was up at the airport 26% in May compared to last year.