UPDATE: Marketing campaign for ONT unveiled

After months of touting a new marketing campaign for LA/Ontario International Airport, the promotional material has finally been unveiled.

The promotional material, “The cat is out of the bag!,” features a feline popping out of a paper bag with a chart above which focuses on attracting local travelers to use ONT by promoting the 14 non-stop destinations available at the airport.

With the slogan “Fly Ontario! Your purrfect choice for nonstop flights throughout the West,” the promotional material compares the average price for those routes to other Southern California airports.

LAWA brought in aviation consulting firm LexVolo to lead the marketing campaign.

On its blog, announcing the campaign, LexVolo said research showed the public has a misunderstanding of just what ONT has to offer.

“If you ever took a marketing class, you know that if the target customers’ awareness of your product is inaccurate, it is hard to get them to try it, let alone repeat use it, prefer it, or become loyal to it,” the blog stated.

Here’s the story I wrote about the plan last week when I spoke with ONT General Manager Jess Romo.

But the campaign noticeably leaves out  one thing from its brand –Los Angeles. In several references, the ad only refers to it as Ontario International Airport, including in a logo.

However, when you visit www.flyOntario.com it is once again branded as LA/Ontario International Airport.

UPDATE: I’m told that using Ontario Airport is just the style the agency uses for the local market. LA/Ontario International Airport is for outside of the region and out-of-state purposes.

Back to the firm involved in the project. The firm may not immediately sound familiar but its principal is Edward Shelswell-White.

Does the name ring a bell?

He was the consultant brought in last year to discuss this very issue with LAWA’s Board of Airport Commissioners. At a May 2012 meeting, his proposal, which looked at rebranding ONT as a high-end facility, was met with criticism from the commission.

He presented the previous plan under LexVolo’s affiliated company, Aloft Aviation Consulting. The commission questioned the direction, citing the fact that Inland Empire had been hit hard by the recession.

Following a lengthy discussion, the commission sent the proposal back. Earlier this summer Romo announced plans for the marketing campaign.


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