Rapid City Regional Airport
When you think of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, you might think it’s a symbol of the great American road trip. But it actually makes a lot of sense for travelers to fly into the area – not drive – and that’s a message that the Rapid City Regional Airport (RCRA) needed to spread.
- Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) – Bronze Adrian Award, Digital Marketing (Consumer)
L&S worked with the RCRA to solve this problem, starting with consumer insights and audience segmentation. We realized that the target audience didn’t realize all that there was to do in South Dakota, and that if they spent less time traveling by car and opted to fly, they’d have more time to explore it all.
success, starting with segmentation
Audience segmentation helped our team research each consumer cluster and identify the segments that should be targeted with paid media. The research also assisted with market selection, identifying markets with dense populations of target audiences where we’d get the most bang for our buck.
“We needed to tell travelers that by flying, they’d get more from their vacation – more time, more adventures and more memories.”
From there, we had identified the media – now for the message. We needed to tell travelers that by flying, they’d get more from their vacation – more time, more adventures and more memories. We created the “RAP Means” campaign, helping travelers understand that RAP was not only the airport’s code, but that it also meant a quicker route to experience their next adventure and take in more things to see and do. Flying meant more days to play.
The creative lifted up Mount Rushmore along with many other activities in the Black Hills to help visitors understand that RAP means more hikes, more sights, more fun and more to do. Banners showed showcases bursting with buffalo and hot air balloons to represent these sights. Other rich media executions showed the sliding door on an airplane window going up and down, revealing Mount Rushmore. All traffic was funneled into the booking process.
Since its launch, the campaign has driven three straight years of record-breaking results for the airport. An all-time high of 705,128 passengers flew through the Rapid City Regional Airport in 2019, an increase of 12.7% year-over-year. For deplanements (passengers exiting the aircraft in RAP), we broke another record with more than 354,000 passengers – a more than 12% increase over 2018’s previous record.
The campaign has driven three straight years of record-breaking results, increasing passengers by more than 12%.
RAP increased flights operated by almost 10% in 2019, boosting the number of available seats and allowing them to add new flights, including nonstop routes to Los Angeles and San Francisco. With a smart strategy and unique digital marketing, RAP meant more travelers for the Black Hills and more success for the Rapid City Regional Airport.