By Ivan Clark, OMC‘s Man on the Move
When I set about writing this blog I realised how little I actually knew about airport advertising.
When I worked in media agencies, airports were places clients bought long-term holdings on billboards of all shapes and sizes mainly outside the terminal buildings. Inside there were ads aimed at business-people, commonly involving airlines, hotels, car hire, finance or IT and offers on booze, brut and watches were wallpapered anywhere near the duty-free.
It’s obvious from talking to the people who sell advertising solutions at UK airports now, how much has changed since my media (mis)apprenticeship.
Outdoor Specialists still have dedicated international teams or indeed worldwide businesses expert in airports and other travel destinations. They service advertisers wanting to reach a business audience or retail and lifestyle brands keen to reach the global traveller, domestically and internationally.
For domestic brands what have changed dramatically are the audiences and the range and impact of available media.
Stephanie Sheth, marketing manager at Eye Corp, tells me“the mindset of consumers at the airport is incredibly positive; people are excited to be there. Ultimately this is great news for advertisers because their campaigns are seen by a highly receptive audience.”
Over at JCDecaux Airport, Liz Ross Martyn, Head of Marketing Communications, says “at our airports the audience is exceptionally business-focussed and upmarket, so very hard to reach through other media” and adds, “they have a very long dwell time, with the opportunity for advertisers of increased interaction and engagement”.
Airport Partners Managing Director, Paula Oliver, gives me an education in Regional Airports, “they have a cracking audience profile, high ABC1 and at least 75-80% domestic passengers” and “our offer really appeals to regional advertisers who can get to the elusive traveller in a really cost effective way”
All three companies are rightly proud of the scale and range of their digital OOH, with more still in the pipeline. Digital not only lets brands target their message based on time or events, some of the most interesting live updates and interactive campaigns have been integrated within airport media.
UK Airports, and the passengers that use them, differ widely.
Heathrow, the premier international hub, caters for the business elite through the rich and famous to the bulk of people who don’t get to take a left when entering a jumbo jet.
The other London satellite airports cater for a wide mix of passengers travelling for business, on scheduled flights or a holiday charter.
Regional airports are as diverse as they are many.
If you want to talk to someone who actually knows what airports can truly offer advertisers and how they best fit onto any media plan, I suggest you speak to an expert at one of the companies identified in this article, or check out the OMC website.
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