Wichita, Kan. – The aviation industry’s been talking about the looming pilot shortage for years. Retiring Baby Boomers combined with increased requirements for commercial flying have depleted the pool of available pilots entering the pipeline. Piedmont Airlines, with support from Wichita-based marketing agency Greteman Group, is launching a campaign targeted to this finite pool.
“We asked Greteman Group to communicate our key competitive advantages and give pilots a reason to join a company that’s going places,” says Jackie Jennings, Piedmont Airlines director of corporate communications.
A key challenge is that regional carriers, such as Piedmont, seek the same group of talent to serve an increasingly competitive marketplace. But Piedmont has some unique recruitment advantages. Being a captain at a major airline such as American – Piedmont’s parent – evokes an image of glamour and respect. Also, the landscape has improved. After years of industry consolidation and uncertainty, the industry has stabilized. Piedmont has resiliently stood the test of time. Passenger demand’s growing and Piedmont’s ramping up to meet it. The company needs an identity and message to represent that change in an environment of status quo.
“To create a distinctive visual identity, we took inspiration from both Piedmont’s rich history and its modern connection,” says Sonia Greteman, agency president and creative director. “The revamped Piedmont brand doesn’t just stand out, it jumps off the screen and grabs pilots, enticing them to look closer and take action. Apply today. Learn more. Check out pilot events.”
Bold diagonal stripes mimic those of Piedmont’s Speedbird logo – a beloved icon of a get-it-done era of commercial travel. The dramatic color palette strikingly emphasizes American Airlines and the direct path Piedmont pilots have for future employment.
Bold messages communicate opportunities unmatched by other regional carriers. While some regionals offer a chance, Piedmont offers a career. Piedmont’s “guaranteed job” with American means much more than a “preferred interview” with another carrier. Digital ads, videos and print promote Piedmont’s advantageous east coast location and industry-leading pay scale. Bite-sized consumable nuggets of engaging content promote social sharing while paid digital tactics boost posts, geofence events and more.
“Our creative appeals to the target demographic of highly trained, super confident pilots,” says Greteman. “Think testosterone.”
Piedmont asks prospective candidates to do their homework in deciding which airline is right for their career. Robust website pages provide the tools and information for pilots to do just that. Powerful charts and infographics illustrate the differences. Pilots quickly see Piedmont’s strengths through salary, bonuses and upgrade time comparisons. Dramatic photography shows off Piedmont’s expanding fleet of Embraer jets.
“Pilots see a Piedmont that’s on the move,” says Jennings. “An airline that’s the right fit for them.”