ATL Airport District is a destination marketing organization (DMO) that represents travel + tourism for four cities located just south of Atlanta, GA: College Park, East Point, Hapeville and Union City.
This destination has birthed some of hip-hop’s most talented artists who are vocal about their passion for their home. This shines through the collective culture of the destination’s four cities. However, conversations about these hometown heroes are often attributed to Atlanta, as many Metro-area residents associate the destination with crime. We set out to shift this perception.
Together with the ATL Airport District, Sparkloft Media developed the Historically Hip content series. This series evolved the District's social voice and tone to appeal to younger audiences as well as represent hip-hop's history and cultural impact.
Our teams learned that cultural hip-hop content performed best on the ATL Airport District's channels by generating meaningful social conversations. We knew that leaning into this history was a big opportunity to activate a younger segment of our local audience. This also offered a chance to tie ATL Airport District’s cultural contribution to Southern hip-hop’s culture and history.
For the campaign to feel fresher and more on-trend visually with hip-hop culture, we broke away from ATL Airport District’s branding and created a brand identity unique to the Historically Hip campaign. Our creative team carefully selected brand colors, fonts, iconography, photo style and created a campaign logo.
The Historically Hip creative direction was inspired by an R&B/hip-hop aesthetic, with a modern and geometric take on old-school street style. Our campaign branding featured bright saturated colors synonymous with hip-hop culture and complimented the District’s brand colors. The photography style played a huge role in the campaign’s identity and captured the essence of the District by showcasing diversity, history and culture.
Each piece of content, including custom Instagram Stories, GIFs, and organic posts, followed campaign branding and featured lyrical shout-outs from local artists and iconic locations in the District. Content was flighted organically and with paid promotion across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter over four months to reach a wider drive market audience and introduce our existing audience to a new creative look and feel.
With music at the core of this campaign, we also established ATL Airport District’s own Spotify account and developed a series of playlists dedicated to the voices and talent from the area. Each Spotify playlist had its own theme, description and custom Spotify cover.
We also partnered with local advocates to share their experiences with the District. We sought voices who we knew could uphold the brand's tone across multiple audiences, ensuring we had authentic and powerful content to share across the District’s channels.
Fans loved our campaign, and we saw and uptick of UGC from the featured locations. Southern hospitality is the commonly touted characteristic of most southern cities for this audience. Our campaign broke away from that standard by providing ATL Airport District with a unique marketing angle that celebrated local culture and leisure appeal.
We’re exploring ways to take this campaign offline into other areas of ATL District’s brand. The success of the campaign’s social execution influenced the theme of their 2019 Annual Meeting, giving them the perfect opportunity to introduce the messaging to their top stakeholders.