In 2014, TSA launched its “Be There” ad campaign to push for more passenger signups for its PreCheck program, aimed to ultimately result in shorter security checkpoint wait times.
However, two years later with no significant increase in number of signups stands testament to the ad campaign’s failure in effective communication.
TSA’s ad copy: “When you enroll in TSA PreCheck, you become part of a smarter travel experience with fewer hassles and less stress. No need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids, belts or light jackets. Our intelligence-driven approach to security screening keeps you moving forward with confidence and peace of mind.”
Why did it fail? It’s all in the message.
Even though the ad’s purpose was to sell TSA’s PreCheck program, it’s ultimate goal was to decrease the number of passengers in the general checkpoint lines and allow for a faster process. But instead of pushing its biggest selling point, “faster and quicker,” the campaign advertised a more intelligent-driven approach to convenience with “you become part of a smarter travel experience with fewer hassles and less stress.” The ad highlighted convenience of the program by use of “fewer hassles” and “less stress” phrases, which although are true, do not drive the message enough to convince the general public to pay for it.
Instead, this campaign should have focused on what it was really trying to communicate: paying for faster, quicker service and shorter wait times. Omission of these messages rendered TSA’s $1.53 million marketing campaign ineffective in reaching its goal.