Runway restart maintains faith of brands in airport advertising
By M4G Bureau - August 13, 2020
Brands gear up to capitalise tactically on airport touchpoints as passengers’ dwell time at the airport has gone up following the social distancing protocols
Post 140 days of lockdown, airports are the only transit avenue to have started for the masses. Till end of July, over 4.2 million domestic passengers took air travel in the Indian soil post travel restrictions were lifted alongside the International flights under the Vande Bharat Mission. As these numbers continue to grow day by day as the country inch towards normalization, the advertisers’ faith also seemingly venturing back into the leading OOH advertising medium.
Looking at a few examples from down South, at Coimbatore and Trichy airports: Times OOH partnered with Naturals, a leading salon chain that sponsored hand sanitisers at the two airports thereby participating in a larger cause and seamlessly merging with the need of passengers and airport. The sanitising units emphasize upon the importance of hand sanitisation and reinstate safe travel practices.
Another campaign was executed by Dr. Vanchilingam Hospital at Trichy airport. “We chose airport advertising to reach out Indians residing overseas. OOH advertising has always helped us in establishing ourselves as a hospital that comprises with state-of-the-art technology with all facilities available and we will continue to advertise in OOH medium in future,” said Dr. Sophia Somesh, MD, Dr. Vanchilingam.
Interestingly, the transit destination is witnessing some innovative branding concepts designed relevant advertising. Call it a health care zone by a leading diagnostic chain, an e-insurance kiosk for availing insurance on the go, food delivery self-ordering kiosks that make contactless deliveries, a contactless automobile experience lounge using the VR technology and more are few areas of new opportunities for brands at these airports.
Also there are a few brands which have restarted their campaigns affected due to the lockdown. Volkswagen is one such brand to re-start its campaign at Mumbai airport. “Volkswagen has always believed in connecting with the right audience on the right platform. Keeping in mind the communication for Tiguan and T-Roc the ideal touch points have always been the Mumbai and Delhi airports, known for their captive audience. With the resumption of travel a month and a half ago, airports saw a sudden surge in eyeballs. It made sense at this time to use airport-centric OOH to drive advertising about SUVs that are often used for travel purposes. Airports are currently one of the very few public spaces where people can assemble. While, following social distancing protocols, the passenger dwell time at the airport has gone up substantially. In this context, it’s important to capitalise tactically on specific airport spots and locations like departure lounges and security hold areas. This is where passengers are spending a majority of their airport time, and therefore placing ads here results in better eyeballs and return on investment", Ajay Varghese, Vice President-Investment, Omnicom Media Group, said.
Pandemic has introduced new perspectives and fueled consumers to change their behavior and lifestyle. Even travel behaviors are changing and witnessing various initiatives taken by the airport operators to ensure safety of the passengers. Some initiatives include mandatory web check-ins, reaching airports at least two hours before departure leading to even higher audience dwell times, going through thermal screening, maintaining social distancing norms via floor markers and marked seats, wearing face masks at all times and pasting PNR on bags by self.
Mumbai and Delhi airport, two of the busiest airports in India are also gradually witnessing increase in flights and are quickly adapting to the new normal. “We at Times OOH are working closely with the airport authorities to understand the new paradigms and innovating to introduce new opportunities for brands”, said Times OOH spokesperson.
Times OOH spokesperson added, “The future is promising for air travel and we are optimistic about the new opportunities that the crisis has given birth to and have already received positive expressions from brands.”
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