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Out-of-the-box ABM

Extend your marketing mix outside the "Facebook/Adwords" box

2 min read

The Basics of OOH Advertising in Airports

A new economic impact study titled, "What is the ROI of OOH?" reveals that 22% of marketers are newly investing in out-of-home (OOH) advertising specifically to take advantage of increased airport traffic – a sensible tactic to reach B2C and B2B audiences alike. 

Travel is back and with a vengeance. Business and leisure travelers sidelined by the pandemic are taking flight once again, in ever-increasing numbers despite rising prices and other frustrations, such as limited flights and an uptick in delays.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), compared to March 2019, air traffic in March 2022 was:

  • 76% higher internationally
  • 96.5% higher in North America

Most industry experts predict that air travel will surpass pre-pandemic levels by 2023 or, at the least, by 2024. For brands anxious to meet up with consumers out in the real world, airports represent a potential gold mine.  

Making the right connections

Passengers are flying through major hubs such as Atlanta or Chicago, but marketers take note: there are 503 commercial airports throughout the US. Every one of them represents a potential opportunity to promote your brand and products. Smaller airports typically serve smaller Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, where many OOH advertisers are now focusing.  

But it gets better. Airports are uniquely large and diverse facilities, offering a wealth of media formats and location choices to reach targets. OOH ads can be displayed on terminal walls, as freestanding units, on hanging monitors, on screens at baggage claim, or as headers above walkways and escalators.

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One of the greatest benefits of airport advertising? Passengers are essentially a captive audience as they work their way through the airport. With not much else to do as they walk or wait, OOH ads can offer much-appreciated visual appeal.

Airport OOH ads can achieve the same goals as OOH is known for elsewhere:

  • Brand building
  • Product or service promotion
  • Point-of-sale revenue generation

Maybe that’s why True Impact Media reports that air travelers demonstrate 90% ad awareness and are more likely to buy products and services they’ve seen advertised in the airport.

Where to advertise around the airport

  • Main ticketing and departure lobbies
  • Concourses
  • Food courts
  • Restaurants
  • Retail shops
  • Public and VIP lounge areas
  • Flight waiting areas
  • Jet bridges
  • Baggage claim
  • Baggage carts (which serve as mobile OOH as they are rolled around the airport)
  • Shuttle buses or trains (interiors as well as exteriors)
  • Bus shelters
  • External areas (parking garages, transit collector areas, approaches to arrival and drop-off areas)

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And don’t forget rideshare vehicles and taxis picking up passengers, as well as major roadways leading to and from the airport. On-premise ads will be seen by travelers from anywhere, but the airport also serves as a home base for those who live in the area and as a destination for others. All of these passengers will travel to and from town, and you can follow them along every point of their journey.

Types of airport OOH media

Static or digital, huge or smaller-screen, the airport is a microcosm of all things out-of-home. The optimal format depends on your brand and the content you want to deliver. Here are a few options for typical OOH inventory in airports:

  • Posters (billboard-style displays that are not illuminated)
  • Banners
  • Digital screens, in common areas as well as inside shops, etc.
  • Back-lit digital dioramas that use large expanses of wall space (spectaculars are the largest size)
  • Wraps applied to wall, window, or floor surfaces
  • Freestanding interactive kiosks
  • Showcase units large enough to display actual products or other items travelers may stop to examine more closely
  • Manned kiosks similar to those you might see in a mall, where travelers can interact with live sales reps

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The sky’s the limit! ✈️

If your target audience is not only out of home but on the go, airport OOH advertising can help you connect with them all along their journey. You can obtain passenger statistics from individual airport authorities in your target markets and also from the Airports Council International to help your next OOH airport campaign soar. And, of course, if you have any questions or experience any turbulence along the way, we are happy to help! 


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