What’s the Shortest Distance from Chattanooga to NYC? Ask the Girls

 Monty Wyne

Our client, the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, had recently introduced two daily non-stops to New York City on United Airlines. New York was the airport’s largest market and one of the most desired by their business travelers. Prior to the introduction, service didn’t exist.

Eight months after the service and print advertising announcing it had been launched, our client called a meeting with the agency. United had met with the airport and although there were a number of business and leisure travelers utilizing this convenient service, the numbers needed to increase if United was going to maintain its daily non-stops to NYC.

Following that meeting, Brian May, president and executive creative director, knew we had a big job ahead of us. Travelers searching for non-stops to NYC assumed United’s flights weren’t the most direct or timely alternative because they landed at Newark, requiring passengers to take a brief train ride into downtown Manhattan. Our job? Change current perceptions.

Brian briefed Monty Wyne, Maycreate’s senior copywriter and Grant Little, our senior art director. Following that meeting, Brian, Monty and Grant went to work looking for initial ideas. Every idea had to pass the litmus test—convince readers they could fly from CHA TO NYC, ASAP! 

We’d done our competitive research. There were two competing options. The first, required travelers to either fly to Atlanta’s Hartsfield/Jackson Int’l Airport, hustle to make a connection, fly to LaGuardia and then catch a cab or limo into the city, while fighting traffic. The second required passengers to take a flight to Charlotte, dash to find the right concourse, connect, fly into JFK and an hour-and-twenty minutes later arrive in Manhattan. It was a no brainer and the idea and creative reflected that.

The work was clever, hard hitting, and convincing, but Maycreate needed one more big idea in its marketing arsenal to convince our audience. Brian came up with it late one evening. Why not send two staff members to New York City on one of the airport’s non-stops for a weekend, and produce a fun and convincing video that captured the convenience and the magic of the “city that never sleeps.”

Sarah Smith, Maycreate’s staff photographer and Eliza Everett, our accounts manager, were headed for the “Big Apple” and Six Strong Media, Chattanooga’s award-winning video production and motion design studio, would produce, direct, shoot and edit this weekend adventure. 

Once we had the finished video, Rad Davenport, Maycreate’s head of analytics and SEO,  launched a digital marketing campaign targeting users in-market for air travel and travel to NYC. He implemented Display banner and pre-roll video ads. The Display ads featured still shots of the “Girl’s Trip to NYC.” When users clicked on the ad, they were directed to an NYC landing page at iheartnonstop.com. The pre-roll video ads showcased a shortened, 11-second version. If viewers clicked through to the landing page, not only could they could watch the full-length video there, but they could click the “Book Now” button at iheartnonstop.com for their non-stop flight to New York. 

In the brief time the campaign has been running, there have been well over 12,000 views and that number continues to increase. In addition, the number of full seats on United’s non-stops to NYC have jumped from the high 40s to almost 80 percent, meeting the airline’s capacity requirements and ensuring this non-stop service will continue to serve passengers in this market. Nice to know “We’re off to a flying start.”

Visit IHeartNonStop.com to Book a Flight