Chicago Rockford International Airport
Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) is Chicago’s low-cost airport for cargo and passenger services. RFD is served by two passenger airlines, Allegiant Air and Apple Vacations, and serves 10 nonstop destinations. RFD also is among the nation’s Top 20 airports by cargo volume and was named in 2019 as the fastest-growing cargo airport in the world. The airport is home to the second-largest UPS hub in North America and is a base of operations for Amazon Air. RFD also supports ABX Air, ATI, Atlas Air, and Southern Air.
As COVID overtook our nation in 2020, effectively halting all non-essential travel, RFD wanted to position itself as the regional travel airport of choice post-pandemic while serving a bright and hopeful message.
Recognizing record traffic on social media, RFD sought to engage individuals immediately and continually. Chartwell created the social media campaign, Getaways to Dream About, that presented leisure travel as part of an optimistic future – full of all the color and fun of an eventual vacation. There were three overarching goals in developing this social media campaign:
- Promote RFD destinations
- Enhance visibility to position RFD as the airport of choice, post-COVID
- Garner additional followers – and future travelers – for RFD
Chartwell’s imagery overlaid COVID-appropriate settings with colorful dreams of an eventual vacation. Designs leveraged a range of age, gender, race, and interests to appeal to a variety of current and potential travelers.
Additionally, thoughtful content shared details about the destinations to which RFD flies for further engagement. The boosted social media campaign was complemented by a strong, organic content strategy to capitalize on interest and excitement.
The Getaways to Dream About social media campaign resulted in a 2.23% average engagement rate, more than double the industry average of .90%. Additionally, in a six-month period, the campaign garnered more than 325,000 total unique visitors, 453,000 total impressions, and almost 2,500 total link clicks, driving new people to the RFD website.
After a year (2020) which saw reduced flights due to COVID-19 restrictions, passenger travel at RFD ended the year down only 32%, with 4th quarter being down only 18% year-over-year. Nationally, passenger airline industry as a whole was down 50-60%.
This social media campaign received a Gold award in the social media ad campaign category of the 2020 Marcom Awards and a Gold award in the social media content category of the Service Industry Advertising Awards.
Copy shared details about attractions and interests at the destinations to which RFD flies for enhanced audience engagement.
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