South Africa’s airports are bustling with chances to advertise, and the local out of home advertising industry is not reticent about grasping those opportunities. That’s what Provantage did when it launched a specialised division, called Airport Ads, that targets the airport space, and brands it across multiple channels, from television to billboards, 3D sculptures and wall murals, and even activations.
The idea behind Airport Ads is to offer advertisers integrated digital, static and activation media opportunities in all airports across South Africa.
“Airport advertising is my passion and I am looking forward to bringing the various offerings to existing and new clients. The airport environment is unique, offering advertisers a captive, upper LSM audience that wants to assimilate information in ways that are fresh, new and add value to their travel experience,” says newly appointed general manager, Mzukisi Deliwe.
An out of home and marketing industry stalwart, who has a vast and intricate knowledge of the airport environment, he will lead a team well-versed in vagaries of the sector, and well-equipped to take advantage of the generally well-heeled passengers who throng airports.
TheMediaOnline caught up with Antoinette Abrahams of Provantage’s Airport Ads who shared some insight into advertising in the airport environment.
Is the potential of airport advertising so big it requires a dedicated team? Can you unpack the vision and your forecasts for us?
We work with all nine of the ACSA airports around South Africa, so yes a dedicated team is a necessity. In this way we can focus exclusively on the airport space with airport.tv™, activations and Airport Ads. Our focus is on providing a 360 degree solution for advertisers wanting to make use of the airport environment, which has the potential to reach hundreds of thousands of travellers and consumers daily.
Will this division handle billboard as well as airport.tv requirements?
Yes, Airport Ads provides clients with access to billboards stationed around the airports as well as activation sites for face-face interactions. Airport.tv™ screens are displayed at security check in and departure lounge areas, where dwell time is high and the audience is a captive one.
What are the differences in costs? Is airport.tv more expensive?
Absolutely not. A 30-second commercial that flights 10 times a day on 379 screens in nine airports nationally costs R120 000.00 per month, a much better return on investment compared with television advertising. It is also so much more targeted as the consumer fits a very specific bracket – upper LSM decision makers.
Do you give clients an integrated offering where they can campaign via billboards, activations AND airport.tv?
Yes, we offer an integrated solution where clients can advertise on billboards, do activations and flight commercials on airport.tv™, this allows them to literally own the space and ensure that, with brilliant creative execution, a message is successfully and effectively delivered to the target audience.
What kind of video content is airport.tv offering right now and what’s coming up that’s new?
Airport.tv ™ flights news, sport and weather information, which is fed in daily from News24. The channel also integrates new video content into the mix, which is themed every month. In November the focus will be on fashion, in December it will be on travel destinations, in January it will be health and finance. The Airport.tv™ channel offers consumers brand information as well as information that is relevant to them.
What are the particular challenges of the airport environment?
One of the main challenges is changing the belief that advertising in the airport environment should only focus on business travellers, instead of business and leisure travellers. There is still the belief that only the advertising of business products and services works well. However, when our media features high end products targeted at the leisure traveller, the results are hugely successful.
I once saw a flashmob at OR Tambo. What kinds of airport activations work in that environment and is it tricky getting permission to do such work?
As members of the Airport Ads team we have permission to implement activations on behalf of our clients. This said, not all activations are relevant in an airport environment. They need to be created in a way that the messaging sticks in the consumer’s mind. The execution has to be done with creative flair, relevance and memorability. In an airport environment there are time pressure constraints and the messaging needs to be communicated with extreme clarity so that consumers have the desire to enquire about the brand long after they’ve experienced the activation. With this in mind, we work closely with the creatives as well as the brand.
In terms of human capacity for this operation, what kind of skills do you look for in staff?
An understanding of the airport environment is crucial – people move through zones in a specific way, their eye is drawn to certain things and the areas are used for very particular purposes. An understanding of the media platforms available to clients as well as the habits, interests and behaviour of the traveller is also vital.
What is the competition like for sites at the airports around the country?
There are various concessionaires and ACSA also sells space. However, Provantage has the sole media rights to Airport.tv™.