An unnamed avaition company

Pilot Recruitment Campaign

With new management this airline is on an aggressive and aspirational path, but none of that is possible without pilots flying the planes. We were asked to create a campaign that identified the company’s value proposition in compelling ways to engage pilots at different parts of the hiring cycle.

Situational Analysis:

The airline company wanted to establish themselves as an ideal destination for pilots who are looking for something different. Competing against larger airlines with deeper pockets, proven stability, and benefits efforts had to be on other proof points. It was this point where Agency Squid was asked to identify and elevate the proof points, then help reach a new pilot audience.

Key Issues: 

Since 9/11 pilots have been increasingly difficult to find and hire.

Our Approach:

We started with interviews focusing on new management team, pilots at all stages in their careers, and a comprehensive competitive analysis to see what other airlines were saying. All this information pointed us to the crux of what this brand really was: a lifestyle brand at all points, consumer and professional.

Pilots had made the decision to fly for this airline largely due to intangibles. Although there were some pieces that other airlines couldn’t compete with, like 2 years to become a captain or being able to fly a Boeing 737-800, pilots consistently selected this airline for employment because of the work/life balance and destinations they flew to. This became an interesting piece of information considering the industry as a whole largely competes over the same sales points: pay, benefits, and retirement.

Our Solution:

We created a campaign that promoted work/life balance as its core called “Fly at the speed of life.™” Knowing pilots hold that higher than anything else it made sense to use it as a proof point to attract other like-minded pilots and reinforce an existing culture within the airline.

“Fly at the speed of life™” was then paired with visuals of the Boeing 737-800 pilots are excited to fly. We merged lifestyle imagery with portions of the plane pilots can easily identity (ex. the wing, the tail, the engines). Merging lifestyle with the plane itself created a way for the airline to align their biggest assets, the plane itself and the work/life balance culture they support, together in one cohesive visual. These visuals were then created to fit different touch points during the recruiting phase, from event support to social media content, and everything in between.


The airline rolled out the new messaging at the University of North Dakota and Minnesota State Mankato as the initial recruitment touch points. Over 200 students and instructors came out to engage with the airline resulting in all major publications in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area to pick up the story for earned media placement upwards of 5MM impressions.

The airline will continue to roll out the campaign at recruiting tradeshows and job fairs in the coming year to help support their growth goals.

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