One of the best examples of how a brand can improve passenger experience through airport advertising is installation of recharge/power stations. The service is becoming more popular with an increasing number of recharge stations available at airports around the world.
A leader in providing power stations is Samsung. The company found a way to engage passengers by providing them with a solution to one of the most common problems that travelers face — the inability to recharge a device, which may cause a lot of stress and annoyance in an already stressful environment. Apart from providing passengers with much needed services, each of Samsung's "Power Poles" are equipped with a build-in screen that allows the brand to promote its latest products.
Creating A Social Buzz; Free Publicity
The popularity of social media and ever growing number of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, allow airports to engage and communicate with passengers in a way that was never available before.
A single short message or a picture has a potential to reach millions of people around the world in an relatively short time. The power of social media has already been recognized and cannot be underestimated.
So how can airports achieve the goal of 'free', and even more crucial, positive publicity worldwide?
A number of examples exist, one of which is Ikea's pop-up lounge at Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport. The campaign ran during the summer of 2012 and was organized jointly by ubi bene, KR Media (IKEA France's event agencies), and by JCDecaux Airport (advertising concession at Paris Airports).
The Swedish furniture design specialist put together a 200-square meter "VIP lounge open to everybody" (including a supervised children's area) in Terminal 3 of the Parisian airport. The space gave passengers a place to rest before their flight while also providing them with a unique experience.
The partnership between IKEA and the airport was featured in number of publications. Magazines, websites,and blogs around the world that specialize in topics such as architecture, interior design, advertising, commercial aviation, experimental marketing, and branding were all interested in covering the topic.
The examples outlined above show that airports have immense possibilities when it comes to accommodating the terminal space for advertiser needs. Working together, airports can partner with well known brands, identifying opportunities to help advertisers reach a targeted audience in an unusual and influential way.
However, to work well, this approach to advertising requires a complex collaboration not only between a brand and an airport, but also within the airport itself. Media departments should work closely with a number of other departments to be able to identify the needs of advertisers, and to match them with the needs and desires of passengers.
Airports need to understand that brands are looking for new creative ways to capture the attention of travelers, and they need to learn how to use it to their advantage.
About the Author:
Malgorzata Lach is the founder of a recently launched training and consulting firm, smartaer.com. The company focuses on helping airports and airlines research, identify, analyze, and evaluate sponsorship and partnership opportunities that enhance passenger experience, reduce operating costs, and get recognition.
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