The all-new Citation Longitude signified a major milestone for Cessna. It was the brand’s first super midsize entry in 20 years. And it was well-deserving of an epic product launch.
The market has been saturated with super midsize jets for years. But that didn’t stop Textron Aviation from firing up the Cessna production line to create the be-all and end-all of business tools. The Longitude shook up the competitive landscape by offering benefits nobody expected in a jet this size.
Textron Aviation invited our team to help promote a national Longitude tour. We branded it as an “experience” that promised more than a look-see on the tarmac. The Longitude was the next big thing, and its rollout campaign quickly sprung multiple lines of marketing — 3D displays, direct mailers, swag, virtual reality and even gourmet chocolate.
Two invitations were designed. The VIP version included Dava Sobel’s “Longitude,” a novel with thematic significance because it is about how innovative thinking changes history. The book was delivered in a gift box with raised UV printing and a magnetic snap-shut closure.
The second invitation was made for a midtier audience. Though minimalist in design, the invitation was printed on clear acrylic, which imparted both weight and elegance. The look and feel spoke of exclusivity.
The Longitude Experience was scheduled to hit 46 airports from Orlando to Seattle. Like promos for a touring act, both invitations listed all the cities.
New Product Launch Through Event Marketing
There was a lot to discuss on the tour: advanced manufacturing, unbeatable range, the lowest operating costs and the quietest cabin in the segment. Certainly, a leave-behind could talk about all that. But we decided that 6-foot acrylic monuments would make better storytellers. Their stage presence commanded attention and dramatized the Longitude’s main selling points. When the event concluded, they could be dismantled and transported with ease.
The monuments helped transform aircraft hangars into atmospheric venues. Guests were treated to craft beer and wine, hors d’oeuvres, giveaways and a stunning up-close encounter with the jet.
Even though they would not be able to sit inside the Longitude at cruising altitude, it was important for them to experience the quiet cabin in flight instead of just reading about it. The VR station offered the convenience of a realistic simulation.
Whether showing off sleek exteriors or cabin comfort, print design gave the Longitude room to wow. The refractive quality of the background symbolizes innovation. It is a carryover from a previous campaign in which the Longitude, still in production at the time, first appeared as the newest member of Textron Aviation’s large-cabin family.
Audience Engagement and Integrating Big Brand Events
As the tour swept across the U.S., thousands of potential customers learned about the Longitude’s story through direct mail, one chapter at a time. The eight-part series enumerated the jet’s value propositions and gave readers access to even more content online. The final mailer rewarded their attention with truffles handcrafted and custom-branded by Cocoa Dolce.
In flight tests, the Longitude bested the competition on many levels. But its coup de grâce was the cabin. Partnering with Justin McClure Creative, we scripted a video especially about the jet’s ultraquiet interior. The video was presented in a multimedia booklet that recipients could open, press and play.
Why Customer Experience Matters
From VIP events to direct mail pieces, audiences appreciate experiences catered to them — a fact substantiated by this campaign. Textron Aviation’s sales team reported large turnouts and overwhelmingly positive feedback during the tour. The Longitude Experience accomplished what it was designed to do: Pull the audience in, quiet the competition, and say with unflinching confidence, “This one’s going to revolutionize the way you travel.”