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Pittsburgh International Airport

PIT Takes Flight as Leader in Industry

The Reality

Allegheny County Airport Authority (ACAA), which manages Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) and Allegheny County Airport, has always been committed to increasing air service, improving customer service and inspiring growth in the Pittsburgh region.

However, over the last three years in particular, the ACAA has realized unprecedented growth. PIT has added flights and has almost doubled the number of new nonstop destinations. Low-cost airlines including WOW Air, Spirit Airlines, Allegiant Air and Frontier have set their sights on Pittsburgh as a growth market and are now flying out of PIT with new routes. Passenger numbers have continued to increase, falling just short of 9 million in 2017.

All of this, coupled with the development of the new ACAA brand and a launch of the new flypittsburgh.com website in early 2017, has resulted in a positive response both locally and around the world. PIT won 2017 Airport of the Year, and has seen a dramatic uptick in media coverage both locally and abroad. With the launch of Blue Sky News, an industry-leading brand journalism website, and Neighborhood 91, a self-sufficient microgrid project, ACAA is redefining what it means to be an airport—and we’ve been behind the scenes to bring it all to light.

A Plan for the Future

As we analyzed 2017 results and approached our 2018 strategy, our plan was to bring Pittsburgh’s residents and authenticity to life as well as highlight the culture and “Real” destinations you can connect to from Pittsburgh.

Let’s Get Real

We identified an opportunity with the “Real” campaign to increase awareness around specific direct routes that could offer real experiences for them, their friends, family and even business colleagues – this initiative would be accomplished through an integrated destination campaign, including print, digital, social and radio ads.

The campaign features the “Real” tagline marketing copy, carrier info and lifestyle photography featuring those cities. There is a landing page representing each “real” destination travelers can get to nonstop from Pittsburgh. It informs them about the destination and route schedule.

In addition, we would also provide marketing support at trade shows and events.

Real Campaign. Real News.

To help the ACAA break through in a competitive media environment, we helped conceptualize, coordinate and launch Blue Sky News, a robust brand journalism website. Once launched, we provided original content and multimedia, from reported news stories to infographics and more.

New Beginning for an Airport Redefined

As the ACAA redefined itself as a world leader in aviation—and innovation—PUSH 7 (now Pipitone Group) was working hard behind the scenes, whether it was naming the Neighborhood 91 microgrid and developing its web content or helping the airport become named one of Fast Company’s World's Most Innovative Companies.

Real Results

The overall marketing program was indeed a success. In addition to bolstering the airport brand through positive news coverage, the PIT marketing communications team earned over 9,000 placements in media publications in both local and national news outlets, a 35% increase year-over-year (Source: Meltwater Media Monitoring).

Ad banners ran April 2018 – September 2018. (Some still running, but stats are pulled from that period). Combined results of the banners for the Europe, Florida, Los Angeles Myrtle Beach and Las Vegas creative: Impressions: 13,147,086, Average Click Through: .17%

Facebook ads for Europe, Florida, Los Angeles, Myrtle Beach and Las Vegas combined creative results:  Impressions: 3,075,078, Average Click Through: 1.2%

Compared to last year, website traffic from social media ads going to flypittsburgh.com has increased by 43%.

More importantly, the campaign achieved success according to its most critical metrics, as detailed below:

  • Overall Traffic Success
    • Sessions increased by 25% year-over-year (Source: Google Analytics)
    • New users increased by 24% year-over-year (Source: Google Analytics)
    • Traffic to airline partners increased 14% year-over-year (Source: Google Analytics)
    • Increase in passenger traffic by 9.9% year-over-year (Source: Allegheny County Airport Authority Air Service Development)
Pipitone Group 3933 Perrysville Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15214-1735


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