MindFire Communications, Inc.
A strong brand leads to a fast (and fun!) partnership on breaking news
October 5, 2023 | Denise Hnytka

One of the most fun and satisfying aspects of our work is developing long-standing client relationships built on sound, thoughtful strategy. When a solid brand foundation is in place, it becomes much easier and more efficient to execute special campaigns and events for our clients, like the Quad Cities International Airport.

When big news broke about a new daily route to Charlotte, North Carolina on American Airlines, we had 5 days to pull together a community announcement that would be impactful and full of energy.  Thanks to the long-term relationships and brand foundation already established with the QC Airport, we were ready for the quick turn-a-round!

The brand work with the QC Airport began in 2020 with a complete brand refresh. We transformed the brand’s written and visual identity including a brand narrative to lock in the QC Airport’s key differentiators, an all-new logo and visual attitude synthesized in a brand style guide. Equipped with that solid brand foundation, we were ready for takeoff (pun intended).


A big announcement called for big ideas! We rounded up the most creative minds in the agency to spark some concepts in a brainstorming session.

To drive home the message that the new Charlotte route is a connection to dozens of other destinations, our team developed the “Connect to a lotte” campaign. The play on words was the perfect way to showcase the versatility of the new route: Charlotte itself is a destination, but there’s a LOTTE more.

Creative Assets

With the concept nailed down, our team went to work on the creative assets. From graphics to videos to banners for the press conference, we created an integrated suite of campaign materials that conveyed the key message in a consistent manner.

The launch video served as the opening reveal to kick off the event and was then repurposed on social media and shared with partnering organizations. Other special touches included branded signage, CLT “Char-cuterie” trays and floating framed boarding passes for guests to take home as souvenirs.

PR and Social Media

To get the message out beyond the press event, the QC Airport used several PR and social media tactics to not just share the news – but drive home WHY it matters. Sure, a new destination is a great service to offer. But the celebration is really around the investment in the Quad Cities – something everyone in the community can get on board with.

Media Placement

The community’s investment also matters to the airlines. Airlines value communities that are “all-in,” making Charlotte a way to show other airlines the support for new destinations. Media placements around the Charlotte announcement demonstrate that enthusiasm. National, regional and local media coverage garnered a reach of more than 80-million people.

Our strategy was balancing good digital and ad placement, with the support of in-kind placements from media partners.

Breaking news with your brand will be made much easier with the help of a solid brand foundation. Curious about how to get started? Let’s talk!

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