By Ally Oelerich
Airport security checkpoints create lines, pat-downs and frequent headaches for travelers. There are also the dull colored table trays on airplanes that make your snack and beverage look, well dull. Airlines have long wanted to engage travelers through these mediums so it was naturally when they invited companies to place advertisements on security checkpoint bins and on table trays to make it a more positive experience for travelers. Does this form of advertising work? Brands think so and are taking advantage of this advertising avenue.
Security Point Media, the leader in airport passenger security checkpoint advertising and the innovator of the Secure Tray System worked up a plan to provide free bins to airports in exchange for the right to sell advertisements on the bins. During a recent trip from New York to Boston, I noticed the ads at JFK airport. As I placed my shoes and other items in the bin, I saw an ad for Zappos that said “Place shoes here, buy shoes here.” I thought it was clever and made me remember that Zappos is a great store for shoe lovers and it distracted me for a few minutes as I made my way through the line. In my opinion, the ad worked as it was colorful, simple and reminded me how much I liked the brand and the products they offer. Brand recognition and recall are much more likely when advertising serves a practical purpose and is helpful to consumers.
Los Angeles International Airport, one of the program’s first test sites, was able to purchase long tables, seating, floor mats and other equipment from the ad revenue they have generated since the start of the bin advertising program. Airports like the program because it gives them a little bit of extra money and helps improve the checkpoint experience for passengers. Brands like Zappos are also helping absorb the cost that TSA would normally have to spend buying the equipment needed for security checkpoint. Sounds like a win win to me!
Another way to reach frequent travelers is by smacking an ad on a table tray while they’re on the airplane. On a recent flight, I saw an ad for Visitrichmond.com that did a great job of showcasing their cities history by having an ad that said “History. Rated “Gee!” From chilling ghost stories to thrilling roller coaster rides, history is for kids of all ages.” The ad featured a group of people enjoying a roller coaster ride. Whether it’s an ad for a hotel, cell phone or a tourism push for visitors, brands are gaining maximum exposure as the advertising images cannot be avoided.
While media companies believe table tray ads provide up to 3+ hours of guaranteed exposure and attention and a clutter-free environment with zero distractions, I believe frequent travelers would question if the ads make as much of an impact as companies would have liked. In a busy traveling world where people are rushing to get to their gate, do people notice advertisements on check point bins and table trays or are they more concerned with making their flight?
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