Donovan Creative

Donovan Creative

March 30, 2010 09:00 ET

Stopping the Habit Kick-Starts Ad Campaign to Support Local Airport

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 30, 2010) - Edmonton International Airport's (EIA) latest tongue-in-cheeky ad campaign "Stop the Calgary Habit" has ignited major debate in traditional and on-line media, from TV talk-shows to Twitter.

Using the tag line "When you go south, so does your air service," the campaign is a direct appeal to fly EIA every time for the 750 000 Edmontonians a year who habitually connect through, or drive 300 km south to Calgary's airport. If those passengers flew through EIA instead, it would give airlines greater incentive to provide more non-stop flights. 

The integrated campaign used traditional and web-based multi-media and PR. TV and radio spots featured the 'confessions' of two passengers with a bad habit of driving to Calgary. A web-based 'Quit Kit' was designed to educate passengers on the cost and consequences of their habit. Billboards were plastered all over the city, including a guerilla billboard taken over by two rappelling EIA 'activists' - mannequins dressed in climbing gear. Flash-animated activists also rappel down ropes whenever visitors log on to EIA's website.

Quit Kit
EIA website

"We needed to influence people to change behaviour-long-term," explains Creative Director, Ernest Burden, "Short term benefits were hard to put a finger on, not unlike a campaign that might be launched by environmental activists. So we kept asking ourselves, 'What would real activists do?'...okay, we can't do that, lets do this..."

The campaign sparked passionate debate on TV and radio talk shows and social networking sites about which airport to choose. "Support your airport and you will get better and more routes," trumpeted one of hundreds of bloggers in response to the ads.

The campaign was also picked up by Harriet Baskas, of USA Today, who noted the campaign in her column as "A great example of having no qualms about calling out opponents by name".

The Stop the Calgary Habit campaign was created by DONOVAN Creative, based in Edmonton, Alberta. The agency has won 23 international awards in the last couple of years for its previous EIA ad campaign, The Language of Speed.

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