Now that we can speed through commercials on our DVRs, many advertisers are frustrated in their battle for our attention. They may have found an answer to that dilemma.
If you’re a frequent flyer, as I am, you are about to become a member of a large “captive audience” that will soon be exposed to more advertising than any other segment of our population!
It’s bad enough that the entire journey from your home or office to your airplane seat is paved with advertising messages … billboards, newspapers, ads in taxis or buses, ticket kiosks, on airport walls and digital screens, in jet ways, and even on baggage carousels.
However, a new wave of unusual target opportunities is now available for advertisers that are assured a captive audience. Consider the fact that we sit there in an environment where cell phones are turned off and we’re pretty much stationary having to focus on visible ads for an average of three hours.
Now that the FAA has approved this campaign, you can very soon expect to see ads on seat pockets, seat backs and tray tables, napkins, flight attendants’ aprons, snack boxes, bulk heads, boarding passes, ticket jackets, in safety videos and even in announcements by the flight crews. Can you imagine hearing: “This seat belt demonstration brought to you by Ford Motor Co.”
Spirit Airlines, AirTran Airways,and Delta Air Lines are three of the first U.S. airlines to take advantage of every inch of in-flight display space to generate ancillary revenue by renting display space to advertisers.
Onboard Media Group has created a system that allows the airline to change ad messages quickly. They’re hoping to reach two million passengers a month on AirTran using this out-of-the-box leap for a broader market.
Delta is already showing Lincoln automobile commercials prior to their pre-flight safety video.
And for a cool $14 million, you can advertise on the exterior of every Spirit Airlines jet.
If that’s too steep, consider plunking down $196,000 for three months of ads on the overhead bins in Spirit’s planes, $119,000 for ads on their tray tables, or $18,500 for ads on, are you ready, their air-sickness bags.
Many marketing experts are warning that this encroachment on the privacy of an already stressed customer segment may very well backfire on both the airlines and the advertisers. We’ll soon see. Until then, this effort is another example of creative thinking by many who have felt the pressure of an ever-changing, chaotic, and competitive marketplace.