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Posted on 05/06/2014 by Kristie VanAuken

Good ones can change the way you look at your business; your career.  Well, we just wrapped up a good one here. Our #LUVCAK campaign was a colossal undertaking; coordinating with six community partners and one darn good airline. It was hard work, took nearly six months to launch, but was undoubtedly one of the high points of my career.

I’ve been blessed in my nearly 18 years at CAK. We’ve been part of many smaller community partnerships that have driven strong results. I remember FlaminGo to AirTran.com, regional marketing campaigns, and social media collaborations. Nothing though was to the scale of this #LUVCAK campaign. We cast a wide and deep net to educate travelers about booking tickets at Southwest.com. Plus we enrolled thousands more in the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Program.

What was truly special though, was the enthusiasm and commitment conveyed by our partners.  The Canton Regional Chamber, the Greater Akron Chamber, the Akron/Summit Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Canton/Stark Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Stark Development Board, Gatehouse Media, Southwest allies in Dallas, and our local Southwest station employees really supported and lead the campaign. Rick and I and our board were truly blown away.
As is sometimes not the case, everyone also pulled their own weight. All of our local partners contributed to the effort mostly with time and energy but also financially.  Southwest offered backend support, sixty LUV vouchers and four roundtrip tickets from CAK! Boom.

Ultimately, our air carrier partners must be successful and profitable to fly here. We either support it or it will go away. With #LUVCAK, we had the right partners creating high level awareness and support at the right time. And although this collaboration could be considered a complete success, our job really is never done. And, thanks to our #LUVCAK partners, we can look confidently into our future with Southwest. 

This community truly gets it. I have no doubt that we will all enjoy lower fares and unbelievable nonstop destinations because of their hard work. We are humbled and grateful to be serving an awesome community with such exceptional leadership. Thank you and #LUVCAK.

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Kristie Van Auken

Kristie VanAuken
Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing & Communications Officer

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