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Key to airport advertising is the vast numbers of people passing through, and the significant dwell times inside 

Central to developments both on land and in the air is technology. 

Through its OohFly division, OohMedia manages external and internal digital and static signs at airports across Australia. 

Brendon Cook, CEO at OohMedia, says: “This was a highly charged area for us last year. We took the decision to digitise pretty much the entire environment Australia-wide, which started to open up opportunities to do different things. So, last year, we saw brands start to think about doing some different things.”

One example of something different was Virgin Mobile’s ‘Game of phones’ campaign, which invited consumers to take part in a virtual treasure hunt and then defend their prize when they got within 50 metres of it.  

“The continued digitisation is allowing for a whole creative link to social and engagement behaviours,” says Cook. “That did not exist previously. Now that we have made this huge investment and have this massive digitised network, clients are asking themselves how they can creatively use it. That’s the big game changer for this year – more and more clients are recognising they are only limited by their imagination.”

And imagine what you can do in places that have such a huge footfall as airports. 

Janine Wood, general manager of marketing at APN Outdoor, outlines: “In airports, it’s not just about passengers anymore, it’s about the ‘airport customer’. There are meet and greeters, passengers, the huge amount of people who are employed there and all the support services from retail to catering to cargo. They are all ‘airport customers’. And in the last decade, with heightened security, people are also in airports for longer.” 

APN installed its ‘Showgirl’ high definition portrait digital billboards outside Sydney and Perth airports last year. “What’s really fantastic is that some of the advertisements have been contextual,” says Wood. “We are seeing more and more advertisers using the airport environment in that way.” 

Things are changing onboard planes too. Onboard Qantas, for example, personal iPads, instead of group or individual video screens, are gradually being introduced. 

“That, undoubtedly, will open up other areas of marketing when it gets better penetration,” predicts Cook. 

Wood concludes: “There is also no doubt that we are having more discussions with advertisers about how they may better interact with consumers.” 

When you think of planes and advertising, airports are the obvious starting point. But what about having your advert on show up in the sky?

Duncan McIntyre is managing director of aerial advertising company Branding By Air that specialises in aerial banners, skydiving and sky writing. 

Mega brands like Coca-Cola, Adidas and Vodafone have taken to the skies with Branding By Air, but challenger and smaller brands have also taken advantage of the unique advertising method. 

McIntyre says: “It’s visibility that brands want when they come to us. With the digital world being so fragmented, people often just want a raw message to get to the masses.”

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