Columbia to fund advertising for United Airlines flights to Denver | Local

COLUMBIA — Columbia’s Convention and Visitors Bureau has contracted with Bucket Media to provide $250,000 worth of advertising for United Airline flights between Columbia Regional and Denver International airports that will begin Aug. 1.

The demographic Bucket Media is targeting is similar to that of any airline, Kori Sands, a media buyer for the agency, said. The company will advertise during television news and prime-time shows to target business and leisure travelers and will rely on social media, online advertising, radio and international student guide publications to target students.

“We have a pretty significant social media campaign,” Sands said.

The majority of the advertising efforts will be spent promoting Columbia’s flights to Denver. Some of the online advertising, however, will focus on passengers flying from Denver to Columbia, Sands said. The messages will emphasize that there is a new destination available from Columbia Regional Airport for residents throughout mid-Missouri.

Columbia Regional Airport is seeing a record number of passengers, with a 24 percent to 26 percent increase since the same quarter last year, Community Relations Manager Steven Sapp said. Flights to Denver are highly requested, and a passenger demand analysis done by Mead and Hunt in 2012 showed that Denver was the most common market for people flying into and out of Columbia.

United also will provide flights to and from Chicago beginning Aug. 1. Sapp said that United is pleased with the number of bookings it has thus far but that it doesn’t release exact numbers.

“We’re excited to have United start service (and to have) a new destination and airline all at one time,” Sapp said.

American Airlines already provides daily Chicago and Dallas flights at Columbia Regional.

The two-hour drive required to get to Kansas City or St. Louis…

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