Skype lands effective connection in airports

Skype and Kaplow executed a launch campaign for Skype WiFi that helped keep consumers connected during the holidays with free access at various US airports.

Client: Skype (Palo Alto, CA)
Agency: Kaplow (New York)
Campaign: Skype Brings You Closer to Home
Duration: December 19 to 27, 2011
Budget: about $50,000

Skype and Kaplow, AOR for North America, executed a launch campaign for Skype WiFi that helped keep consumers connected during the holidays with free access at various US airports.

“The PR objective was to facilitate meaningful connections for travelers and families and drive media coverage and social media chatter,” explains Skype's consumer PR manager Demetra Kavadeles.

Strategy
The product was free from December 21 to 27 in more than 50 US airports where Skype has partner hotspots.

“Travelers are a big segment for Skype,” Kavadeles says. “The holidays are the busiest time of year for travel.”

Media relations and social media outreach drove awareness and trial.

Tactics
The December 19 launch was announced to media and bloggers and on Skype's blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

Targets included travel, tech, lifestyle, and news outlets and travel and mommy/parenting bloggers. Press releases, an ANR, and b-roll showing scenarios of people in airports using Skype Wifi on multiple devices were distributed. Fifteen- and 30-second versions of the b-roll were used for online ads.

Kavadeles says it was important to drive awareness of all devices on which Skype can be used.

Twitter hashtag #SkypeWiFi was used to remind people of the free offer. Calls were issued on Twitter, Facebook, and Skype's blog for people who were stuck in airports to tweet their stories with the hashtag or share them on Skype's Facebook page.

“We were getting them to interact with us and using it as a more organic way of spreading the word,” notes Kaplow VP Aziza Johnson.

An interactive map showing locations of the airports with free WiFi was posted to the blog with links on Facebook. It was also available for media to post on their online properties.

Tips were integrated into the Foursquare pages of the airports with Skype hotspots.

Results
Kavadeles says the trial goal was exceeded by 30%.

Tweets about “WiFi” or “Skype WiFi” increased from less than 100 times per day prior to the campaign to more than 1,400 times on December 19.

Foursquare followers increased by 1,300 during the campaign.

Blog and Facebook metrics weren't tracked, but Skype's Facebook page likes exceed 8 million.

More than 206 million traditional media and blog impressions were earned from 253 placements in outlets such as Huffington Post and Travel & Leisure. ABC, NBC, and CBS affiliate coverage ran in local markets.

Future
Kavadeles says the team continues to drive messaging focused on Skype helping people making meaningful connections and to position Skype as a preferred way to communicate.

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