Faced with the fall travel advertising clutter, Media Experts created a promotion to increase travel to WestJet’s new and existing southern destinations via a series of market-specific multimedia campaigns under a common national “Fly Free” theme.

To earn the support of newspaper publishers, a “forced reading” element was incorporated to help boost readership, which motivated unprecedented collaboration between Canwest papers and independent dailies in Toronto, Halifax and Winnipeg. Publishers also augmented the promotion with TV, radio, online and outdoor.

The contest was introduced with a teaser asking readers to watch for a game both in the paper and online to win one of six $15,000 trips over the next six weeks. In week two, the agency introduced the “Fly Free” game board, a double-page spread containing six different “destination shapes,” which the reader had to search for daily, clip and attach to the board. Each spread featured region-specific stories and advertisements, and every Friday there was a new winner and a new game board in each market.

The promotion produced significant year-over-year revenues and load factor increases [numbers were provided], and WestJet significantly grew its JetMail database. Canwest, meanwhile, saw a remarkable year-over-year increase in overall travel advertising, as WestJet’s competitors attempted to keep pace.