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TALES FROM THE PAST

PURE FIRE

PURE FIRE is still one of my favourite marketing campaigns. Although, it was a really tough sell.

We told stories that connected the Abbotsford International Airshow brand to the greatness of others.

I was convinced that a strong typographical, story-telling approach that compared the Abbotsford International Airshow to other famous entertainment entities would be a success for our client. Favouring the more traditional approach, Craig was not entirely convinced—but he always gave me a chance when my strong convictions won out. And he successfully sold it! The client loved the approach.

The initial marketing campaign began with a corporate folder and sell sheets promoting tailored-to-fit, catered, private viewing accommodations. I even learned of the campaign’s effectiveness before we received any sales results from the client, when my late wife Rochelle saw it prioritized by her boss—it was prioritized on top of her bosses file stack at the law firm she worked at. A few weeks later, we learned that the private areas had sold almost a month earlier than any previous year.

We told a story of superiority to the combined entertain values of Godzilla, Barnum and Bailey, and Houdini. However, this was only a feint. The real effectiveness of this campaign was the tongue in cheek approach we took within the conversational style. The real messaging was the instant pop typography of the initially read headlines: PURE FIRE SPEED; PURE FIRE THRILLS; PURE FIRE AIR.

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WHOSE SHOW IS MADE OF PURE FIRE AND PUSHES THE ENVELOPE SO FAR THAT YOU’LL HAVE TO SCREAM “I’M GOING!”?

We used literal objects to convey the story in a meaningful way.

It’s important to develop effective, relatable experiences for any unique media elements of a campaign. For example, a simple device I used was connecting the literal envelope when I had the opportunity. We included a pre-stamped envelope for customers to use when mailing back their requests for accommodations. “Pushing the envelope” was such a natural fit for this piece.

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WHOSE SHOW IS PURE FIRE & HAS THE BEST PERFORMANCE ACTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD?

We connected to the audience in a timely fashion.

Along with writing the TV and Radio spots, I designed a Safeway flyer wrap that was distributed in regional and local newspaper markets. This wrap was the airshow's opportunity to sell tickets at local Safeway stores—providing Safeway customers a deal and the airshow with a method of ticket sales.

The additional benefit of these direct-to-consumer promotions is the ability to feature acts and events that became finalized after initial marketing begins. It's an effective way to promote all of the fine details.