Consumer brands choose airports as locations for innovative campaigns

Consumer Brands Airport Campaigns_a680x270

By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

Being high-traffic locations with a diverse and international mix of consumers, brands see airports as an interesting setting for marketing campaigns. We have reported before how consumer brands are teaming up with airports to offer passengers free, branded, airport amenities such as charging zones, video and music rooms, and gaming stations.

This summer, consumer brands such as Heineken, DE and Google are using the airport as the scene for experiental and digital marketing campaigns.

Heineken ‘Departure Roulette’
Earlier this month, Heineken and its ad agency Wieden + Kennedy in New York set up a board at New York’s JFK Airport 8 and dared travelers to play ‘Departure Roulette’ —changing their destination to a more exotic location.

Travellers who happened to pass by Terminal 8 were given the opportunity for an adventure of a totally different kind, and asked to exchange their current plans for new ones. Those who decided to take the challenge were then asked to press a red button on a billboard showing them their destination. Participants had to agree to drop their existing travel plans—without knowing the new destination first—and immediately board a flight to the new place.

Those who were spontaneous enough to brave the unknown were rewarded with exotic destinations such as Morocco, Thailand and Cyprus. They were also given USD2,000 for expenses, along with two free hotel nights for their trip. Video of the campaign here.

The game is inspired by ‘Dropped’, a new Heineken webisodes campaign that launched a month ago from W+K Amsterdam in which four men are sent to remote destinations and film their adventures.


Douwe Egberts ‘Bye Bye Red Eye’
Coffee company Douwe Egberts (DE) recently perked up weary travelers at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport, South Africa’s busiest airport, with a vending machine that dispensed a free cup of coffee when they yawned.

The coffee machine used facial recognition software to spot when someone yawns. It then dispensed a free cup of coffee to help the traveler make it through the rest of their journey.

The coffee machine was set up by DE and ad agency Joe Public at the airport’s International arrivals terminal and dispensed more than 200 free coffees to the tired general public who managed to figure out how the machine worked. (There was no place to put money as the only currency the machine dealt in was yawns).

DE says it chose the airport as a prime place full of weary passengers and plenty of yawning. Video of the campaign here.

Google Play
In Australia, Google is currently testing out a new pilot campaign for Google Play – their newly launched entertainment portal for Android mobile devices. Domestic passengers flying from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports can download movies, music, apps and books direct to their Android device using Near Field Communication (NFC) and Quick Response (QR) technologies.

Google and out-of-home media agency oOh! Media have integrated the technology into 39 digital advertising screens at the three airports. Passengers simply have to tap their NFC device against the screen or scan the QR code to connect to the Google Play Store. They can then control the digital billboard using their device,  browse content across several genres that include Professional, High Octane, Tweens and Kids. Android phone users can also download selected books, movies, music, magazines and apps directly to their phone using oOh!’s free airport WiFi network. Video of the campaign here.

Jenn Brown, planning director of Google’s ad agency PHD Communications, comments: “We wanted the campaign to be rewarding, interactive, and truly mobile. We wanted this to be at a moment where consumption of entertainment content was top of mind—and the airport environment delivered on all of these elements. The campaign has achieved more than 2000 interactions.”

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