Food order screens blend with ads at new JetBlue terminal

December 22, 2008 by Dave Haynes

Airports have, for a while now, been a key target digital screen networks – usually but not always the big outdoor companies who already have a footprint there. In almost all cases, the approach has been digital screens replacing backlit posters, or content-driven pseudo-TV channels in wait lounges.

Now a Philadelphia-based restaurant services company called OTG Management is taking an entirely different approach at JetBlue’s new Terminal 5 at JFK in New York.

Re:vive, a platform consisting of more than 200 screens throughout the terminal, allows travelers to order food and beverages to be delivered to their gate. Those screens, which executives say are the first of their kind, will start serving up advertising in January, reports Ad Age.

There are 200 screens running around the terminal.

The difference between this and the digital screens found in many airports is the interactive opportunity, execs said. Ads within the menu can provide a strong call to action, while travelers could click through banner ads to branded content. A dedicated team of technicians is also based at Terminal Five to quickly resolve any technical issues.

The notion is that many people who travel are gate-huggers who are loathe to leave the departure area in case they miss an announcement or the plane decides to board ahead of schedule.

That meant carefully curated food and beverage options were losing potential customers. Re:vive has successfully addressed that problem, Mr. Allan said. Those gate huggers can use the digital kiosks to, in essence, order in. And now Re:vive could also be a solution for marketers looking to capture the attention of travelers.

“When you consider that about 50,000 people a day spend about 90 minutes in Terminal Five, there’s a good probability that we can put a campaign in front of all of those people,” said James Summerfield, managing partner at Deepend, New York, the design agency working on the project. “We don’t have as much of a struggle to get people’s attention.”

There are three advertising opportunities for brands within the platform. When the screens are not in use, they go into sleep mode and can run traditional 30- and 60-second spots. When they are in use, advertising can be placed within the menu — Heineken could buy an ad asking customers if they want to add a beer to their order, for example — and banner ads can be bought against the order-confirmation screen.

The company only has screen at JFK but runs concessions in some other airports and is considering expansion.

I like this because it’s one of those approaches that drives activity and eyeballs, and at least theoretically improves the traveleing experience. Without seeing them it’s hard to say if the approach is nailed down and whether other screens are needed to drive awareness, but it’s a really interesting approach to blend point-of-sale food ordering with advertising.

Leave a comment