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Hate Boston traffic? T.F. Green tapping into that loathing in new ads promoting flying out of RI

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Hate Boston traffic? T.F. Green tapping into that loathing in new ads promoting flying out of RI

Sep 20, 2023 | 12:52 pm ET
By Christopher Shea
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Hate Boston traffic? T.F. Green tapping into that loathing in new ads promoting flying out of RI
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The Rhode Island Airport Corporation is hoping a new series of ads will persuade travelers in Southeastern Massachusetts fly in and out of T.F. Green International Airport. (Screenshot)

WARWICK — An airline pilot looks out the window to see lightning, smog, and gridlock on I-93 in Boston — “soul-crushing” in his words — before announcing there’s  an “easier way to fly.”

That’s when the pilot recites the new tagline for the Rhode Island Airport Corporation’s newest television ad campaign seeking to sway more travelers to consider  Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport for all future flights: “forget about the B.S. at BOS.”

The ad, called “chill pilot” was shown before RIAC’s board of directors during its monthly meeting on Sept. 14 as part of its marketing update. 

 The 30-second spot, produced by Denver-based advertising agency Karsh Hagan, cost $50,000 to produce and $120,000 to air on channels 10 and 12 — mostly to target travelers living in the New Bedford, Mass. area, RIAC spokesperson John Goodman said in an interview.

“That’s our attention area,” he said, adding that the ad was scheduled to run on television through Nov. 21. Goodman said there were options to extend it.

Another ad shown at the Sept. 14 board meeting featured a chauffeur stuck in bumper-to-bumper Boston traffic, holding signs through his limousine’s sunroof coaxing drivers to choose to fly into T.F. Green. Much like the pilot, the chauffeur tells travelers to “forget the stress and B.S. at BOS.”

Goodman said that 30-second spot cost RIAC $72,000 and is set to air “likely by the end of this month” on channels 10 and 12. RIAC has also taken its messaging to digital platforms with anti-Logan banner ads featuring messages like “SAY NOGAN TO LOGAN” over an image of I-93 traffic. 

RIAC’s budget for internet banner advertising in the Southern New England market, including the Boston Globe, is approximately $15,000 per month, Goodman said.

As of June, 310,018 passengers traveled through Rhode Islands T.F. Green International Airport. Logan, meanwhile, saw 3,729,187, according to the Massachusetts Port Authority

Goodman says those ads will likely remain evergreen as the Massachusetts Department of Transportation plans to close the Sumner Tunnel, which connects to Logan airport, for two months next summer as part of ongoing restoration efforts of the nearly 100-year-old roadway.

“The fun never ends,” Goodman said.