By Michael O'Connell Posted December 19, 2008, 12:57 PM EST
Delta formally merged with Northwest Airlines this morning when the world’s largest airline rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. To tell the financial district about all of the new perks that come with the merger, Delta branded the historic building’s facade with its logo and erected three gift box-shaped hospitality booths on the grounds outside.
Since the merger means more flights to destinations in Europe, Africa, and Asia, Delta manager of sponsorships and brand activation in New York City Annika Schmitz worked with MKG Productions to find a way to present the new direction. They chose actual packages—three walk-in gift boxes addressed to London, Cairo, and Tokyo, signed “From: JFK.” Each booth offered up a different hot beverage distinctive to the region (cocoa, coffee, and green tea, respectively) and had its own little destination-appropriate souvenir, such as fortune cookies.
For anyone whose fortune actually inspired them to consider booking a flight, information was readily available. Delta staffed the initiative with its own employees. Customer service representatives from John F. Kennedy International Airport spoke with guests in each of the thematic booths and flight attendants passed out beverages and snacks to traders as they entered the building.
Traders and N.Y.S.E. staffers were the only guests granted access to the promotion. Though anyone on the street could see Delta’s giant gift boxes placed around the exchange's Christmas tree, the entire pavilion was set up within a secured area. N.Y.S.E. owns the area immediately in front of the headquarters and, much like the regulations for private institutions looking to post political signage, can only promote listed corporations on its own grounds. Branded initiatives on Wall Street, outside the defined perimeter of the exchange, are strictly verboten.
The tight rules of the location also meant that construction on the pavilion needed to happen overnight. MKG staff arrived onsite Thursday evening at the close of the trading day to build the three structures and surrounding displays and worked continuously for the pavilion to be ready by the opening bell at 9:30 a.m.