The DEN Files

Denver International Airport

The Challenge

The Great Hall renovation project at Denver International Airport (DEN) would inevitably cause a disruption to a passenger’s typical airport experience. We needed to make sure the construction wasn’t just an inconvenience, but also a chance for travelers to learn about the project and maybe even laugh a little.

Our Role

  • Integrated Strategy
  • Creative Strategy Development & Implementation
  • Social and PR
  • Out of Home

The Solution

Create construction signage that speaks to the project in a way that engages and informs travelers while piquing their interest. DEN has long been known for its crazy conspiracy theories, so we embraced them through creative that gave DEN a personality that’s unique to the airport itself.

Using the construction walls around the airport as opportunities to engage and inform travelers, we opened up the DEN Files as a way to raise awareness. We caught their attention with visually interesting signage, then encouraged them to learn more about the project by visiting and invited them to share their photos using the social tag #DENFiles.

The Impact

Without spending a cent on paid media, The DEN Files has generated 704,739,069 impressions and counting, valued at over $8 million. The wide-ranging coverage highlights how you can turn lemons into lemonade, and you can turn a nightmare construction project into a viral dream come true with the proven ROI to convince any skeptic.


The DEN Files immediately caught traction, even being dubbed “the Most Clever Ad Campaign of the Year.”

Awareness of the campaign and the construction project have both increased and the social tag #DENFiles remains active and is growing organically every day. YouTube channels continue to eat it up, fueling the fire with conspiracy theories of their own. To date, there have been nearly 200 local, national and international articles covering the campaign, including: 

Meanwhile, Twitter and Instagram continue to pour in more posts with praise like: 

“Denver airport is undergoing MAJOR construction! Huge high five to the marketing team who came up with this concept for trying to keep the stressful atmosphere funny!!!”

“If this doesn’t capture what Denver is all about, I don’t know what does.” 

“This is what marketing is all about: embracing what makes your brand unique and getting people talking.”

“This is exactly the kind of strange and interesting things more brands should be doing with advertising.”