Delta's Sky360 Lounge takes off

Delta needs no introduction to frequent air travelers, but the Atlanta-based airline wanted to increase its visibility and gain new customers in New York, aiming to make the Big Apple a hub on the level of its Georgia base.

Delta needs no introduction to frequent air travelers, but the Atlanta-based airline wanted to increase its visibility and gain new customers in New York, aiming to make the Big Apple a hub on the level of its Georgia base.

"Sky360 [Lounge] was about engaging New York City, raising Delta's profile [there], and giving people the opportunity to feel, touch, smell... giving the [whole] experience as opposed to just reading about it," says Jaime Jewell, GM of sponsorships and promotional marketing at Delta. To help the effort, the airline turned to DKC.

Strategy
Delta wanted to catch the eyes of people passing by on the street, bring them inside "Sky360 Lounge," and enroll them in its SkyMiles frequent-flier program.

The lounge, located at the intersection of 57th St. and 6th Ave. in Manhattan, featured all the amenities of a Delta flight, including on-board food, entertainment, and service.

"This was something very much outside the box. It was the idea of creating something on the ground, or a way to bring the experience of Delta to the ground," says Juliet Horn, DKC SVP. "Delta was really making a renewed effort to better the customer experience, and this allowed us to showcase the new in-flight menu, uniforms, and entertainment."

Tactics
As part of the experience, Sky360 included the flight menu from chef Todd English and cocktails by entertainment experts Rande Gerber, Andrea Robinson, and Michelle Bernstein.

The campaign also featured a series of events, including a celebration honoring the Food Bank of New York, a 20th birthday party for Barney the dinosaur, a sixth anniversary bash for Broadway show Mamma Mia, and a party for Second Stage Theatre's opening night of Edward Albee's Peter and Jerry, which Bill Pull-man and Joan Rivers attended.

Results
Sky360 attracted more than 25,000 visitors to the lounge, enrolled more than 750 customers into the SkyMiles program, and generated more than $3.3 million in calculated advertising equivalency.

Delta extended what was supposed to be a six-week run of the campaign to the end of 2007, and then again to March 15.

"I'm very confident, at this point, that we exceeded all of the goals we set," Jewell says. "We had peaks and valleys of activity... but we were extremely happy with the results."

Future
Sky360 has concluded in New York, but Jewell says she expects Delta to conduct similar campaigns in the future, featuring in-flight experiences and events, as part of the marketing plan.

PR team: Delta (Atlanta), DKC (New York)

Campaign: SKY360 by Delta

Duration: October 3, 2007-March 15, 2008

Budget: $350,000

PRWeek View
Midtown Manhattan is a tough place to stand out in, especially during the holiday season. However, the fact that Delta attracted thousands of visitors indicates that the PR team succeeded in creating an interesting and attractive space for passers-by. Delta extended the length of the campaign twice, showing that it was pleased with customer feedback.

In a competitive marketplace, it's important to be provocative, and equally imperative to follow up the customer's initial curiosity with substantive offerings. Delta and DKC recognized the competitive marketplace that the airline service is in, and stepped up with an equally aggressive campaign.

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