Festival Intelligence: Creativity and data take flight in the Americas | M&M Global

Festival Intelligence: Creativity and data take flight in the Americas

Outdoor advertising – more specifically transport advertising – offers something unique; not only does it have the ability to reach mass audiences in a short space of time but it speaks to a captive audience of consumers with time to kill and who are receptive to brand communication.

Whether it’s passing time waiting for a delayed flight to depart, or simply waiting at the bus stop or train station for transport to arrive, transport OOH combines physical presence, prime locations and immediacy, in the least cluttered advertising environment available – and fits in naturally with consumers’ daily routines outside the home, causing little to no disruption.  

In fact, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) pinpoints transit advertising as the fastest growing OOH category in 2017, rising 3.7%. And while there are distinct differences in the demographic of those travelling around a city using public transport versus those travelling through airports, there are similar learnings and ideas to be taken from developing the creative idea and executing the media plan.  

Flying high

For example, a 2017 study conducted by Nielsen on behalf of Clear Channel Airports shows that frequent flyers are highly responsive to airport advertising, with 80% noticing the media and 42% taking action (whether that’s visiting a website, going to a store or learning more about a product, brand or service).

Combining the power of airport OOH with other media channels, for example social, interactive and mobile advertising, this integrated approach can have a profound impact on reach and performance.  

The report also confirms that active dwell time increases advertising exposure, with 75% of air travellers arriving at the airport over an hour before boarding. Additionally, 87% of frequent flyers spend time on their mobile devices while waiting for their flight, with 36% visiting a website to find out more about products or services seen in an airport advertisement.

“Airport advertising creates significant brand awareness and sales by helping advertisers reach highly coveted audiences,” said Morten Gotterup, President of Clear Channel Airports at the time of the report being released. “Our partnerships with major airports foster some of the most influential, innovative advertising programmes that enhance travellers’ experiences at the airport. We are excited about the opportunities ahead of us to work with brands on fun, experiential and impactful campaigns that build awareness and drive sales.”

Taking off with data

Exploring the transport and transit focused entries from across the Festival of Media North America Awards and Festival of Media LatAm Awards 2018, we’ve spotted a trend from marketers and advertisers in utilising data (from many external sources and in a range of different ways) to improve the context and relevance of their brand messaging to keep consumers engaged and interested. From real-time traffic updates to timetables and flight status, timing is everything when it comes to advertising on the move.

The entries also prove that transport advertising is one of the most creativity versatile mediums, with examples ranging from experiential activity in airports, taxi advertising and more generally transit advertising across subways, train stations and beyond. To create real impact, geo-location techniques were utilised to ensure that proximity was a key factor in the execution.

Smart Alliance

Another significant development in the airport advertising space saw the recent launch of Smart Alliance, unveiled at the Festival of Media LatAm 2018. Smart Alliance is an international company that specialises in the commercialisation of advertising spaces and airport activations through a combination of technology, Big Data and innovation, with a special focus on Travel Retail and Luxury. With a team specialising in more than 50 airports around the world, the company has an exclusive network in Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, and covers the rest of Latin America, the US and the Caribbean.

Airports and (more broadly) transport advertising offers consumers a great opportunity to absorb and respond to brand messaging when they are in the right frame of mind. Despite it being one of the oldest forms of media in existence, OOH is constantly evolving and adapting to new markets, formats, technology and opportunities. As data and tech continue to mature, we can expect OOH to put innovation to work in its continual quest to help advertisers take their message further.

We put the spotlight on two shortlisted entries from across the Festival of Media LatAm and North America Awards in 2018, which highlight this trend:

KitKat Delayed Flight Machine | KitKat (Nestlé) | J. Walter Thompson | Brazil

Shortlisted for: Best Use of Data


KitKat is all about taking a break. But it identified one specific break that you really don’t choose to take: the delayed flight break. Worse than that, a delayed flight during a holiday season. Using that opportunity, agency J. Walter Thompson created a sample machine and, with an API integration, was able to talk directly to people in the exact moment they found out that their flights were delayed. If your flight is delayed, you deserve a real break with KitKat.KitKat

Departure boards offer a huge amount of data. It curated this info to display only delayed flights on the screens of its machines, offering a real service to consumers in the airport. It took ordinary information that was available to everyone (the delayed flights data system) and gave it a new use: reward people whose flights were delayed with a KitKat break. The activation happened during Labor Day Holiday, a period that, because of the huge traffic in the airport, there is a higher rate of delayed flights. To increase awareness for the action, we built a media strategy that would impact consumers by the time they found out the flight was delayed, using digital screens that were placed next to boarding gates.

On the screens of the machines, it curated all flight data and displayed only delayed flights. Passengers whose flights were delayed just had to scan their flight tickets. The machine read the flight code and offered a KitKat break based on the delay. The software was developed using an API with data regarding airports, flights, status, states, cities, timetables, etc. The data is provided by Infraero (www.infraero.gov.br), one of the world’s top three airport operators. Through this API, it developed an algorithm to read, cross-reference, and filter delayed flights in real time.

Taxi Tops | United Airlines | Wavemaker | US

Shortlisted for: Tourism, Travel and Mobility (HIGHLY COMMENDED)


Newark Liberty Airport is a major hub for United Airlines. However, despite its proximity to Manhattan, many Manhattanites favoured John F. Kennedy International in Queens. To change this, United tasked agency Wavemaker with finding a creative execution to raise awareness of the convenience of United’s Newark hub location. But convincing them of this would be a challenge, as most Manhattanites are numb to the constant barrage of advertisements they are assaulted with on every corner.

To avoid being ignored alongside the noise of traditional advertising, the agency knew its message would need to be placed directly in front of its targets in a way that clearly illustrated how consumers were inconveniencing themselves. It decided to focus strictly on the hard data that would specifically illustrate to travellers how much longer they were making their trip by choosing JFK over Newark Liberty and targeted Manhattanites at the moment when they would be most impressed by the data: When they are embarking for their trip to JFK in Queens. Also, by creating out-of-home advertisements targeting travellers, other Manhattanites would inevitably be drawn towards the displayed data, even if it did not connect with them directly until their next air trip.

As almost every Manhattanite going to JFK hails a cab, Wavemaker put live digital data displays on the roof of 125 yellow taxis around Manhattan, showing travellers how much time, up to the second, they would be saving by going to Newark in real time.These data displays took into account different routes, traffic, construction routes and any other obstacles to be found around Manhattan that were gathered by GPS trackers and traffic apps installed in the taxi and ran 24/7.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply