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Bob Hope Airport ad plan gets poor review

Commissioners express dismay about campaign touting Burbank.

April 24, 2012|By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com

Bob Hope Airport commissioners this week waved off a planned print and online ad campaign while keying in on the message they most want to get across: Whatever your L.A. destination, fly Burbank.

Members of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority on Monday were skeptical of the concept because of what commissioners feel is a lack of emphasis on the convenience of Burbank’s airport.

A combination of newspaper advertisement and online ads were scheduled to start in early May and end in July, said Steven Forsythe, chief executive of FFE Group Communication Partners, the firm consulting on the campaign.

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The ads — considered a work in progress — feature prominent Southern California attractions or shopping districts and encouraged travelers to “fly Burbank” because it is “easy, close and convenient.”

But that encouragement was at the bottom of the ads, which for most commissioners at Monday’s meeting missed the mark.

“I’m not sure if that’s the direction we want to go,” said Commissioner Steve Madison, who represents Pasadena.

An ad campaign should highlight the inconvenience of other airports and that people might miss out on important events, like their daughter’s soccer game, when they don’t choose to fly in and out of Burbank, he said.

“We’re either going to play this game or we’re not,” Madison said, adding that it was also about time and convenience.

Commissioner Frank Quintero of Glendale said he had something similar in mind.

“The question is, ‘Why come to Burbank?’” Quintero said. “There’s less traffic, [there’s] easy access and it’s a central location. I think that’s the idea.”

Forsythe said the ads are intended to target people who are searching for flights to various destinations.

“They’re not in the mind set of how do we get in and out quick enough,” Forsythe said, adding that for those people, it was about the attraction and business travel first, and then letting them know Burbank is the way to get there.

But Madison disagreed.

“Time is the most precious commodity, especially for the people that have the resources to do the type of things we’re talking about here,” he said.

The traveler needs to be able to connect a reason to come to the Burbank airport, Madison added.

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