The Port of Portland is the port district responsible for overseeing Portland International Airport, general aviation, and marine activities in the Portland area. They reached out to Sparkloft Media to ideate and execute a campaign in partnership with Delta Air Lines to raise awareness of the return of their nonstop flight from Portland to London.

To show how close London is to Portland through Delta’s nonstop flight, we brought a real-life London icon — a Queen’s Guard — right to downtown Portland as part of a live activation. We extended this in-person event through a broader social push, using both an online contest and video content from the event. We raised awareness through a three-phased campaign that started with the Queen’s Guard activation downtown, encouraging Portlander’s to make the Queen’s Guard laugh for a chance to win flights.

Our target audience included established professionals in the Portland area — these individuals are frequent flyers, are comfortable traveling internationally and understand the benefits of spending more on nonstop flights in order to get to their destination more efficiently. We aimed to show them that London is a natural next stop, and we chose an area of town — Director Park — that would catch business-focused Portlanders during a workday.

Knowing that the client wanted an in-person experience, Sparkloft went to work identifying ways to introduce the flight to Portlanders in a clear, yet fun and engaging method. Sparkloft identified the fun tradition of tourists trying to make the Queen’s Guard laugh in London as the theme of the campaign.

Professional talent posing as a Queen’s Guard and a Town Cryer appeared in Director Park in full regalia to challenge unsuspecting Portlanders. The ask was simple: Make the Queen’s Guard laugh, and you could win prizes and go into the running to win a trip to London with Delta. The day’s festivities included a street team, printed handouts, digital contest entry forms and other prizes (besides a flight).

Sparkloft looked for ways to broaden the reach of the live event, extending the campaign’s messaging and incorporating social-specific tactics — Sparkloft’s specialty.

The activation was pre-promoted through awareness-driving social ads encouraging Portlanders to join us in Director Park for a chance to win prizes.

Content captured from the live event was then used to create a fun and engaging video recapping the day’s events. This video was promoted through social ads, driving deeper engagement and furthering messaging around the flight’s return. Those who couldn’t make it to the live event still had a chance to participate – these social ads drove uses to a contest page hosted on the FlyPDX website and allowed anyone to enter to win two roundtrip tickets to London with Delta.

Combining an in-person activation with an equally-strong online element allowed the campaign to be multi-dimensional yet recognizable, reaching audiences with familiar and engaging content in three different waves.
— Alex Goodwin, Strategist, Sparkloft Media

The Port of Portland’s ultimate goal was to raise general awareness of this nonstop flight, and this campaign’s overall impressions showcased the breadth of our message’s reach through a sequential, three-phased approach. We were able to involve the community and press in a fun and eye-catching event in-person, while also including the broader Portland population through engaging content and an online chance to win. Overall, metrics showed significant results with awareness and interest, while sentiment and social conversation showed a deeper level of awareness and engagement.