Airport Advertising is Ready for Takeoff

By Clear Channel Outdoor InSites Archives
Cover image for  article: Airport Advertising is Ready for Takeoff

Consider most business travelers spend an average of 90 minutes in the airport on a given trip. To advertisers, that's a captive audience with a considerable amount of "dwell time," meaning the time spent simply waiting, passing through security or sitting in an airport terminal waiting to take off.  And this positions airport advertising uniquely as a prime medium for high-impact, eye-catching displays targeted to the right audience. A new Nielsen study commissioned by Clear Channel Outdoor Americas reaffirms that airport advertising is also resonating with frequent and business flyers and influences both audiences to act.

A High-Flying, Captive Audience

Airports bring the right audience to ads like no other venue. Frequent business travelers are often business decision-makers and influential leaders who have purchasing power in their organizations. According to the Nielsen study, business frequent flyers are more than twice as likely to work for companies with 1000+ full-time employees. Business frequent flyers are not just limited to domestic travelers: You'll find international business travelers, too. What's even better is that today's travelers are well-connected through social media. Consider these statistics:

  • More than 50 percent of frequent flyers and business frequent flyers used social media at the airport.
  • 35 percent of business frequent flyers visited a website or used an app to learn more about a product they saw advertised at an airport.
  • 13 percent of those actually bought the advertised product or service outside of the airport.

Airport Advertising Means Trusted Brands

Brands are among reputable company when advertising in an airport. One of the key findings of the Nielsen study is that the airport environment improves brand perception. More than half of all frequent flyers agree that high quality brands and products are advertised in airports. Not only do brands secure a boost from being associated with other trusted brands, the world-class architecture of the airport itself helps to create a positive association among travelers. The whole concept of travel demonstrates openness to new opportunities and experiences, so it's easy to understand why frequent flyers are curious to learn new things, including about the latest products and services on the market.

Connecting at the Right Time

As they say, timing is everything. The average traveler spends a cumulative ninety minutes of dwell time before security, after security, walking the concourse, in the gate area and at baggage claim. This time spent within various airport touchpoints can lead to more than one hour of valuable face time for advertisers. Layer in the additional reach of advertising in connecting airports and you have a truly immersive brand-building experience. And airports aren't the only connections. A reported 80 percent of travelers remain connected to WiFi throughout their airport journey, making it a rich opportunity for marketers to complement their brand's airport media engagement by delivering location-based mobile advertising.

In an airport environment, every consumer is a potential brand advocate and half the battle is capturing their attention when they have free time, device in hand and a high-impact ad in front of them. More than 50 percent of all frequent flyers actually report reading digital advertising at the airport, and 67 percent of all travelers agree that airport advertising is eye-catching and engaging.

In sum, there's no attention deficit at airport.  The culture and environment of today's high-traffic airports foster an atmosphere where travelers have a surplus of attention and are receptive to creative advertising. Wheels up brands, this ad medium is cleared for takeoff.

Image at top courtesy of Clear Channel Outdoor Americas. The opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, Inc. management or associated bloggers.

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