CALGARY — Brandon officials used a less-than-subtle marketing approach to show WestJet officials their services are wanted when making a case on Thursday for air service for Westman.
From the identification tags with phrases linked to Brandon, postcards with Brandon landscape and streetscape scenes, fake boarding passes to Brandon in a WestJet envelope, to a mockup of a WestJet airline magazine, the message was clear.
Brandon’s city and business officials want WestJet to fly into Brandon Municipal Airport.
“They were delighted to see our schwag and the marketing material with it,” Brandon Mayor Shari Decter Hirst said. “The analyst really liked the depth of the information around our market, our airport infrastructure, the growth potential and you could see these are going to be documents that are going to be read a lot over the next weeks and months.”
The magazine was loaded with advertisements from Brandon, stories about the city and even a mock contest advertising dinner with the mayor and a shopping spree. The crossword puzzle offered many clues, but all had the same answer: Brandon.
Laptop bags with an embroidered Brandon Municipal Airport logo were handed to the WestJet delegation hearing the business cases from more than 30 communities from across Canada. Those bags included binders of marketing and business information to help bolster the business case.
Brandon’s delegation also wore City of Brandon golf shirts that included small, but well-placed WestJet corporate logos.
“When we walked in, I said we had infringed on almost every trademark WestJet owns between our onboard magazine, to the liberties we took with over-printing their T-shirts,” Decter Hirst said. “We took some of the chamber of commerce money that was produced and physically stretched it. They were thrilled with the bags and we had so many great community partners that helped get the job done for us.”
The magazine was handed out to WestJet employees from the time they arrived at the airport in Winnipeg to the time they returned.
“The WestJet culture is built from that outside the box thinking and they could see we would be a really good fit to be a partner,” Decter Hirst said. “We wanted to get these bags because we want WestJet to pack their bags and head for Brandon. We did some pre-packing that included a lot of humour to it. Even the luggage tags had sayings to our measurements (on a map) to yellow brick road references (Brandon’s airport code is YBR).”
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 29, 2012