Can I Fly With This? Proving Behaviour Change with the CAA

Civil Aviation Authority
New Zealanders Reached
fewer batteries relinquished in Wellington
fewer batteries relinquished in Queenstown


The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is responsible for keeping Kiwis safe and secure in the air. One part of this is making sure travellers know what they can and can’t pack for their flights. 

At the start of 2021, travel rules were updated so that any loose or spare batteries were now only allowed to be carried on, rather than checked in. Initially, the CAA tried to communicate these changes through the use of traditional tactics, but the message seemed to be getting lost in the hustle and bustle of the airport.

The CAA needed to find a way to reach people well before they’d even booked the Uber to the airport – so they turned to digital. Focusing on the cities where the challenge was the largest, Aro helped to develop a cross-channel strategy that used clear messaging and smart targeting to successfully change behaviour in Kiwi travellers.


Reduce the number of relinquished items to achieve:

1. More sustainable airport security operations 

2. Improved passenger experience

3. Save security staff time - with less bag searches required


Our Social Approach

Our social approach was rooted in testing a variety of creatives and audiences, as well as utilising feed placements for generating user engagement.

We started by prioritising two of the country’s busiest airports – Wellington and Queenstown. These locations had the largest rate of relinquished items, which made them a perfect starting point for generating behaviour change. 

Additionally, we used interest-level targeting to reach frequent flyers in these areas. 

This combination of audiences meant we could be sure we were definitely getting in front of those most likely to be hopping on a flight in one of these locations.

Messaging: More is More

We carried a friendly yet informative tone of voice through our two ad phases: a spotlight on batteries and powerbanks, followed by a generic “pack smart” angle.

Rather than trying to hook users to click through to the site, we wanted to provide enough context on the ad for users to get the necessary information at a glance. 

From here, if they desired further context they had the option to click through to the website for the full list of what they can and can’t bring on a plane.

First Up: Batteries & Powerbanks

The first set of ads were focused on educating travellers about the fact that spare batteries come in more forms than just the humble AA.

Expensive camera and power tool batteries are often confiscated, so singling out these audiences in the copy and focussing on the potential financial loss was a big part of the messaging in these ads

Alongside this, we also put a spotlight on a very common travel companion: the powerbank.

One of the major challenges with getting people to comply with the new rules was that many travellers don’t make the connection that portable phone chargers are essentially just loose batteries. 

Making this clear was a formative part in creating a big impact with this campaign.

Pack Smart New Zealand!

Our second ad approach was slightly broader.

These ads extended beyond a focus on particular items, urging people to stay up to date with evolving travel guidelines. 

We condensed the information from the battery and power bank ads into one package by including links out to multiple relevant pages. 

While the first set of ads achieved a high level of post engagement, this approach generated more engagement with the site itself.

Engaging the Community

We knew we’d gotten something right when we saw the levels of engagement that our ads were receiving.

We got tons of comments that worked in the way of testimonials to enrich the messaging of our ads. 

Some even generated perfect opportunities for CAA to engage with concerned flyers and solidify their position as being on the passenger’s side.

We also saw heaps of users saving ads to their saved Facebook links – which demonstrated that we’d successfully created useful and clear resources out of our ads.

Our Search Approach:

While social worked great for generating widespread awareness, search allowed us to target Kiwis who were actively looking for information about luggage requirements.

We pulled the key messaging into the ad copy to make it easy for users to access knowledge about the rule changes. 

Hey Google – Can I Fly With This?

We categorised searchers into two relevant groups: 

  1. people searching for general info about what they can pack for a flight
  2. people searching for specific info about flying with batteries

We then served these people ads that took them straight to a page of easy-to-digest and informative information, with drop-downs  for some of the most common items.

People Googling “Online Check-in”

As part of our keyword research stage, we identified that “online check-in” was a feature utilised by a huge proportion of people intending to hop on a plane soon.

We deemed them to be a qualified audience alongside targeting those directly searching for info about luggage allowances.

Our Impact:

From just a one month campaign, we saw fantastic results:

Wellington - 50% less items relinquished (month on month)

Queenstown - 46% less items relinquished (month on month)

Other airports - slight reductions (but not as noticeable)


"Aro Digital knows how to reach hard-to-target audiences and understand what works to change behaviour. The team’s talent is matched by their enthusiasm. This campaign exceeded our objectives and we’ve gone on to run another campaign with Aro, with the same astounding (and cost-effective) results."

Jenny Knowsley

Senior Advisor Digital Promotions

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