Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Southwest Porch at Bryant Park

Agency: Civic Entertainment Group
Client: Southwest Airlines

Southwest Porch

Southwest Airlines entered the highly competitive New York market in 2009 and needed to build awareness among New York business travelers. The airline was looking for a way to bring the unique Southwest experience to business travelers rather than making the travelers without making the travelers come to them.

But with just one gate and eight flights at LaGuardia Airport, Southwest didn’t have a lot of marketing dollars to show New Yorkers that Southwest was a friendly place where they could relax anytime. Since New Yorkers don’t have their own porches for socializing, Southwest decided to build them one.

The airline took over Bryant Park in New York’s busy business district and created the Southwest Porch in the southwest corner of the park -- a “lounge” style seating area designed by architect Nancy Thiel with Adirondack chairs, rocking chairs, porch swings, wi-fi, recharging stations, a beverage/snack service by Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio and service delivered by Southwest employees. The experience had to familiarize visitors with the brand without interrupting the park environment.

An opening night party was hosted by Colicchio and Tim Zagat. Partnerships with social networking sites and elite bloggers created events for young professionals, including Tweet Ups, networking parties and reunions.
Overall, the brand interacted with 125,200 Porch visitors. The event drove a 35% increase in ticket sales; traffic to jumped 19%; the Porch generated $4 million in marketing value and 100 million media impressions.