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Pensacola International Airport

Travel is harrowing and hectic enough!

So we leaned into the “fly easy” brand promise to put people at ease.

Opportunity

​​In 2020, the world changed. Business and leisure travel both cratered. The coronavirus grounded the airline industry for months. At the end of what was anything but a typical tourism season in Pensacola, idgroup began working with the leadership team at the Pensacola International Airport.

Boarding for unknown territory, we pushed forward. We took advantage of the time to identify opportunities and map out a course of action. Starting with a dialogue research session, we searched for what was authentic about the PNS brand. We confirmed that a sense of ease was a strong perception in the marketplace. We also discovered that a sense of place was lacking and desired. This gave us a 30,000-foot view, but before we got too far down ahead of ourselves, we had other attitudes to conquer — a sense of uncertainty and a sense of safety.

Approach

Not knowing what lay ahead, we adopted a serial “sprint” strategy. A branding and communication plan was developed and activated over 60-90 day periods.

The #1 area of focus was to communicate and deliver on the “fly easy'' promise. On the ground, our goals were to enhance the customer experience and increase passenger load factors, specifically enplanements in our catchment area.

Initial messaging carefully traversed passenger’s health and safety trepidations. From there, an integrated campaign took an optimistic and inspirational tone. It reconnected us to air travel and the “fly easy” brand promise in an authentic, fun and relatable way. It also opened us back up to the local community with cameo appearances by local business people and other notable characters.

As we navigated through the uncertainty and passengers masked up in the airport and on aircraft, the campaign sprinted in a new direction. We pivoted to promoting nonstop flights to create interest and action, and tap the pent up demand. Content curation increased engagement, and promotional contests helped to build our database and direct communications channel with local leisure, business and military travelers. Additional digital marketing elevated the airport’s online presence and rankings, and responded to reviews. CX research unpacked passenger and community perceptions. Experiential brand artwork and wayfinding graphics enhanced the customer experience. Community Outreach focused on creating community partnerships, and showcasing the airport as the gateway to the Gulf Coast and an economic engine.

Results

In 2021, Pensacola International Airport had 2.3 million passengers. This was a record-breaking year of PNS, exceeding the record set in 2019 by 22%. The passenger growth for 2022 is projected to exceed this 2.3 million mark.

Services Provided

Brand and CX Research, Strategic Branding and Communications Planning, Integrated Campaign including Commercials, Custom Photography and Graphics, Website, OOH, and Digital Ads, Print Ads, Media Planning and Placement, Online Reviews and Listing Management, Content Strategy, Social Media, Database and Direct Marketing, Community Outreach and Engagement

Recognitions

  • Gold Telly Award for Brand Commercial, Local TV General-Transportation
  • American Advertising Awards Silver ADDY for Fly Easy Brand Campaign
  • American Advertising Awards Silver ADDY for Fly Easy Billboard Campaign
  • American Advertising Awards Silver ADDY for Fly Easy Local TV Commercial
  • American Advertising Awards Silver ADDY for Fly Easy Local TV Commercial
  • Record-Setting Pet Adoptions at the Planes & Puppies Event, sponsored by PNS and the Pensacola Humane Society
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Pensacola International Airport