Monday, November 22, 2021

How airport advertising is taking off

With the pandemic shredding every hope of physical proximity and socialising to bits, most people have not been able to travel for close to two years.    But now experts suggest, a dip in the number of active Covid-19 cases and the festive season has led them to indulge in ‘revenge travel’ and fly borders to be reunited with their loved ones and take their much-needed vacations.    The joint sentiments of travellers have caused a preposterous increase in air traffic at airports. This has given brands the set-off to enhance their presence, leading to added investments in airport advertising.    However, with the return of travel, we are seeing increased wait times, perpetuated lines at airport counters, delayed flights and overall chaos, that may end up upsetting the traveller, who might not be in the best mind space to view the many innovations and ads displayed by brands.    Will this phenomenon guarantee a positive brand recall or sales conversion for a brand? 

Giving some context to the current situation, Aman Nanda, chief strategy officer, Times OOH, explained, “Domestic passengers are now arriving almost 120 minutes before flight departure times, whereas for international, the dwell time is over 240 minutes. For some destinations like the UAE, passengers have to come to the airport almost 360 minutes before flight departures, due to new mandates of the Rapid RT-PCR at the airport.”   Experts agree that the increased dwell time has had brands undeniably vying for airport advertising, with a hope of being seen by the myriads of waiting passengers.     Ambi Parameswaran, founder -, believed that excessive wait time is both a blessing, as well as a curse for brands that advertise in airports and for airport shops. “The wait time may help sell more goods, but might also cause empty browsing by passengers who have to kill time,” he added.  

Nanda pointed out that brands have moved towards airport advertising quite positively in the new normal. He shared how the domestic passenger footfall at the Mumbai, Kolkata, Indore, Trichy, and Coimbatore airports have grown by 200% in October, as against June 2021.   Listing a reason crucial enough for brands to consider advertising in the skies, Srivastava said, “Post pandemic, air transport is being seen as the cleanest and quickest way to commute, given the aesthetically safe environment and contactless process that airports are now offering.”   Times OOH also revealed that it has a healthy pipeline of interest from brands, especially post the festive season.    Speaking of how high Volkswagen Passenger Cars, India, flies in terms of advertising at airports, its head of marketing, Abbey Thomas claimed that the brand has actively increased its presence, especially at the Mumbai and New Delhi airports, as it witnesses a higher influx of passenger travel. However, the brand is currently focusing on outdoor sites outside the airport. 

22/11/21 Eularie Saldanha/Campaign India

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