- Create a series of commercials, highlighting the ease and convenience of Akron-Canton Airport
- Concepts must feature evergreen content that can be used throughout the year
- Target three specific demographic groups through separate spots
- Create final videos to match the specifications for all media buys; including television, Pandora and Snapchat
The marketing team at Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) approached our team about creating these commercials in the fall of 2017. They were looking for a new advertising campaign that highlighted the airport’s ease and convenience, which were areas identified based on a traveler survey they had recently completed. After initial meetings with CAK, our team got together to brainstorm and present three different concepts that showcased on all the airport’s strengths for the campaign.
The selected concept featured a side-by-side, split-screen comparing the time it takes to get through CAK to the time it takes to complete other everyday activities. We knew there would be nine total variations – three different videos for the three target audiences the airport had selected – three videos focusing on families, three videos focusing on millennial couples, and three videos focusing on the business/pleasure, or “bleasure,” travelers. Knowing that the concept called for specific scenarios that would resonate with each target group, such as getting kids ready for bed or dialing into a conference call, our team sat back down and created an outline for each video.
Scripting And Storyboarding
Knowing the nine different scenarios that were needed, our team got to work creating the scripts for each commercial. Each script was written originally for the 30-second spots but were done in a way that they could be pared down into 15-second and 10-second spots that would eventually be made as well.
The storyboarding process began with creating the CAK side of the story. We knew that visually we wanted the split screens to mirror each other in framing and layout. This would be more aesthetically appealing to the viewer and make it easier for the viewer to compare the two activities being presented. Since shooting was scheduled to take place in January, during the storyboarding phase our team was careful to plan shots that would strategically highlight the airport, but not show any of the environment outside. By not revealing any seasonal elements within the scenes, the commercials were able to have an “evergreen” or year-round feel.
Once the CAK side had been completed and approved, a shot list was created to match for those boards, as well as the nine accompanying scripts.
Since there were so many versions of the commercials, which meant multiple shoot days with a variety of talent needed on each day, it was important that the upfront work was thorough and well organized. Our team scouted the locations and selected the talent, which was a mix of professional and non-professional actors, and then created a shoot calendar that worked within the timeline.
The schedule consisted of six total shoot days at four different locations, including the airport. Our team had four people on site, a camera operator, a grip, a director and a client relations liaison, and our RED Scarlet-W camera. The storyboards and shot lists were carefully consulted throughout. An internal framing device was also used in the camera to ensure that all the shots were framed correctly for the split screen. That way our crew could be confident that the shots would line up with each other when put together in post-production.
The storyboards were updated after each shoot to check for anything that would need to be adjusted before the following day.
The first step to creating these finished commercials was to find the right song. The piece needed to feel fun and upbeat – something to match the happy and enjoyable CAK side of the storyboards, so that the viewer didn’t necessarily feel the frustration of the other activity on screen.
Once the song was selected and approved, all the preparation that had gone into the storyboards and planning phase paid off, and the videos came together rather seamlessly. There were 30-second, 15-second and 10-second versions, and our team made sure that the unique story of each scenario was still conveyed even when cut down for time.
An interesting note about the video creation for this project was that there were almost 80 different versions when the project was finished. From traditional TV commercials to newer social media platforms like Snapchat, each set of final deliverables had different specifications, including different frame rates and aspect ratios. It was important that files were well organized, so that each media platform got what was needed, on-time and ready to use.
The Akron-Canton Airport was very excited about the entire campaign and released all nine videos to the public in a formal press release on February 1, 2018. The commercials have been running ever since on traditional broadcast, streaming services like Hulu and Sling, and all across social media. So far, the campaign also has over 630,000 total impressions and almost 157,000 views. Even on social media apps like Snapchat, which has a high ad skip rate, the commercials have managed to entertain and catch people’s attention and engagement numbers are outperforming all of CAK’s expectations for the campaign.