Spotty Performance Is Planned

Square One Aims to Place The Parking Spot on Travelers’ Maps
DALLAS–Square One has a new client seeing spots in a campaign that launches this month.
The national chain of off-airport car lots, The Parking Spot, has undergone a brand renovation that included painting its entire fleet of shuttle buses bright yellow with black spots. Spotted billboards will appear this month; ads in in-flight magazines will soon follow.
The budget for the outdoor, print and radio campaign is estimated at $2-5 million.
The Parking Spot, just over a year old, is controlled by the Pritzker family in Chicago, which also owns the Hyatt hotel chain. Its strategy is to build the first nationally recognizable brand of off-airport parking facilities.
“There’s other airport parking out there, but we feel they don’t do a great job of branding; they all kind of look alike,” said vice president of marketing and sales Mark Wildman.
Initially, The Parking Spot was not as differentiated from the competition as it wanted to be.
“We convinced them to let us look at it fresh,” said Square One principal Bill Ferguson. “We wanted to make sure that the business traveler who has been going to the airport for 20 years and hasn’t considered [remote parking] . . . would get pulled off the highway.
“We wanted to have fun with these yellow buses with big black spots. There’ll be no missing it,” he added.
The fleet will also carry humorous advertising on the sides of the vehicles. The messages will gently poke fun at other business and leisure travelers enduring the inconvenience of parking themselves at airport facilities.
“We’re really going to use those vans and make them work for us,” Ferguson said.
Square One had worked with The Parking Spot’s Wildman when he was senior brand manager at Miller Brewing.
“One of the things we learned about Square One is that they were very good at cutting through the political stuff and things that get in the way of good creative,” Wildman said. “It was almost a no-brainer to work with them.”
Square One, based in Dallas, is also located near three of the client’s parking facilities, the better to observe the business.
The Parking Spot, which currently has 12 locations at nine airports, is on an aggressive growth-through-acquisition track.