Air Transat set up DOOH boards to make up for that lost hour of sunlight

As a brand whose business is largely built around sunny skies, Air Transat knew that many consumers would be loathe to lose an hour of sunlight with the recent end of Daylight Savings Time.

So, working with agency partner Sid Lee, the airline came up with an activation called “Win Back Sunlight,” in which it set up a pair of digital boards in Montreal and Toronto to provide people in the two cities with bright (albeit artificial) sunlight just when they needed it most.

Running between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Saturday, when clocks fell back an hour, the digital boards displayed a sunny QR code, accompanied by a message reading “Why lose an hour of sunlight?” and invited people to enter a contest to win one of two all-inclusive trips for two to Jamaica.

The activation was supported by a media relations and influencer component, which included a survey of more than 1,500 Canadians about the time change.

More than half (55%) of boomers surveyed said the practice of Daylight Savings Time, which first started in Port Arthur, Ont. (now Thunder Bay) in 1908, is no longer relevant, while 23% of millennials said they don’t understand why it exists.

“This contest is our way of revisiting an annual marker that isn’t generally very popular by making it fun, whimsical and participatory,” said Air Transat’s  director of marketing, brand and commercial activities, Valérie Martin. “We wanted to give Canadians back that precious hour of sunlight by combining it with our South offer and help beat the winter blues.”

The initiative is part of the brand’s “Why Travel?” brand platform introduced last year, with contextually relevant ads running in Air Transat’s home province of Quebec and Ontario throughout the fall.

Chris Powell