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Airport Advertising Influences Frequent Flyers, Nielsen Finds

Airport advertising offers consumers a greater opportunity to absorb and respond to brand messaging, according to a Nielsen consumer insights study commissioned by Clear Channel Airports, a subsidiary of iHeartMedia Inc. The study showed that frequent flyers are highly responsive to airport advertising, with 80 percent noting the media, 42 percent taking action by visiting a website or going to a store and 19 percent completing a purchase of a product they saw advertised at an airport.

The Nielsen study analyzed responses provided by frequent flyers, tourists and business travelers to find how effective airport advertisements are, what kind of purchasing behavior they promote and what kind of action consumers take after exposure to airport advertisements.

One important finding from the study is that airport advertising campaigns are a significant driver of foot traffic, with 84 percent of frequent flyers likely to visit a restaurant; 50 percent likely to shop for clothing, accessories or jewelry; and 41 percent likely to visit a consumer electronics store.

The study’s research team attributes the effectiveness of airport advertisements to travelers’ dwell time. Of the frequent flyers surveyed, 74 percent arrive at the airport more than an hour before boarding.

“One of the things that this study confirms is that significant dwell time in an airport increases advertisers’ exposure,” says Jon Sayer, senior vice president of national sales in airports for Clear Channel Outdoor. Sayer believes that advertisers can use that extended exposure to tell a story with their advertisements. “[An advertisement] doesn’t have to be a static digital image.”

The Nielsen survey also studied customer behavior after leaving the airport. The survey showed that 90 percent of frequent flyers are likely to dine, shop or otherwise visit brick-and-mortar locations after learning about them at an airport. Also significant is the interest customers showed in rewards programs: 48 percent of those surveyed indicated that they would be interested in travel rewards programs, and roughly a third were interested in signing up for travel rewards credit cards while at the airport itself.

“This study confirms that airport advertising creates significant brand awareness and sales by helping advertisers reach highly coveted audiences, such as the affluent frequent flyer and the key business decision-makers around the world,” says Morten Gotterup, president of Clear Channel Airports. “At Clear Channel our partnerships with major airports throughout the country foster some of the most influential, innovative advertising programs that enhance travelers’ 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.”

*Image shows VW bus from Clear Channel’s disruptive campaign for Lyft in Austin–Bergstrom International Airport (AUS).