It’s not a shopping mall and it’s not a bus stop, but in terms of advertising, it offers the best of both. It’s an airport, and thousands and thousands of people pass through its terminals each day. Airports are an ideal environment for advertising: your ads will be exposed to people from all walks of life who could be there for minutes or hours with nothing to do, and often with some money to spend. There are numerous different options for airport advertising, from digital to banners, from terminals to shuttles, and they range in not only price but also effectiveness. Here’s everything you need to know about this unique advertising opportunity, and how to best turn your airport advertising into profit for your business.
As we’ve already mentioned, airport advertising will expose your brand or product to thousands of people a day. But exposure alone isn’t the only reason airport advertising is such an effective way of reeling in customers. People passing through airports are typically in a different mindset than those who are seeing advertisements in their typical day-to-day life; the mindset of travel often includes excitement and positivity, and much like at a shopping mall, if people are at an airport heading out to a vacation, they’re likely already expecting to spend. Catching people’s eyes with airport advertising while they’re in that travel mindset may cause your advertisement to register differently than if those people saw it on their typical daily commute to work. Additionally, the clientele passing through airports is generally more affluent than average. Those flying for work often work higher-paying jobs, and those flying for vacation are doing so because they can afford to. This means your airport advertisement is catching the eyes of people who are not only in the mindset of traveling and spending money, but also people who have that money to spend. Finally, the people passing through airports could be spending anywhere from 30 minutes to any amount of hours in that space; more often than not, there’s a good amount of time to fill and not a lot to fill it with. Looking around is inevitable, and when surrounded by advertisements during this unfilled time, it’s hard not to take notice of them. In airports, advertisements are welcome entertainment. To sum up: if you advertise in an airport, you’re putting your brand out there for the eyes of generally affluent people in a positive mindset with plenty of dwell time on their hands to take notice.
Try to recall the last time you were in an airport. Everywhere you look, whether you consciously register it or not, there’s an ad. From digital to static and all the variations of each, there are several ways you can promote your brand to thousands of receptive customers in this unique environment.
One of the most expensive forms of airport advertising are banners, which are static advertisements that are often found covering the space just below the ceiling. Their large size and prime placement make them particularly effective at catching the eyes of potential customers. They’re often found in wide walkways (through a terminal, for example), hanging one after another above you as you walk.
Spectaculars & Mini Spectaculars
Spectaculars are, in some ways, like a digital version of a banner in its scope and purpose. It’s a large, static display, but unlike banners, spectaculars are backlit. They can be up to 15 feet in width and can be found just about anywhere in an airport, but are often seen in rental car areas and taxi lines. There are also mini spectaculars, often found in baggage claim or arrivals areas, that are less expensive in price due to both their size and location. But the key to spectaculars is using their digital nature and lighting to catch attention.
Digital Video Screens
Unlike spectaculars, digital video screens present an animated or moving advertisement, possibly even a full video. When it comes to catching eyes, digital video screens have the advantage of movement on the screen. They can host a dynamic advertisement that brings in new colors and loops a video or animation over and over, all day long. If someone’s walking down a terminal, they may be able to tune out static advertisements in their peripherals if they try, but movement and animation can be harder to ignore.
Shuttles & Airport Transit
Large airports often have different forms of shuttles or trams to bring passengers from one terminal to another, and the walls of these forms of transit are an ideal place to put an advertisement. Passengers have minutes of dwell time on these forms of transit, not long or comfortable enough to pull out a computer but long enough to find yourself looking around and subconsciously noting the images on the walls or above you. Shuttles and trams are a great way to think outside of the box when it comes to airport advertising; you still get exposure to the same group of people, but you catch them at a different time with fewer other distractions.
There are a few ways to optimize your airport ad campaign. Focused advertising, for one, is a great way to draw in customers to a specific location. If you’re advertising in Philadelphia, for example, you may place a spectacular in a concourse of the airport that shows off a specific product, then you might include a store location where you can buy that product in the city. Whether passengers are arriving or leaving, if they’re interested in that product, they’ll take note of where they can find it in real life. Another way to focus on location is to advertise for a brand or store that’s in the airport; in this way, you can take advantage of travelers looking to fill dwell time by showing them a worthy product, then letting them know that they can actually go check it out in person, right now, at Terminal B. Sampling is another strategy that will make your airport ad campaign memorable; if a traveler has never heard of a product, an enjoyable sample will leave them wanting more, and if the traveler has heard of the product, the sample may convince them to buy or check out other products from your brand in the future. Similarly, take-one boxes (typically offering brochures or fliers) will catch the attention of passersby and leave them with a tangible reminder of your brand and more information than you’d typically put on a banner or other advertisement. Finally, remember that a branded bag will go a long way, even if it’s just for your samples; it’s a way to get others to do the advertising for you, by bringing your brand’s logo or image anywhere they go.
Overall, as air travel continues to pick back up from pandemic lows, airport advertising is once again becoming one of the most effective ways to promote your business, brand, or product. If you’re on a budget, a smaller airport will allow you to afford a larger or more premier advertisement due to lower exposure, while a bigger airport will cost more but an advertisement there will receive that many more impressions. And at the end of the day, it’s hard to lose when advertising in such a prime, unique environment.