United Airlines’ media wing tunes ads to destination

September 14, 2011 by Dave Haynes

I’ve often thought as I sat in departure lounges at airports that at least part of the advertising cycle should reflect the context of the situation at that gate. In other words, use the screens to market stuff at the destination.

It likely exists, but I’m not sure I’ve really seen it anywhere. But United Airlines – which interestingly has cut out the ad sales middleman and sells its own avails in its airport terminals, lounges and places – has run a Digital OOH campaign that narrows the focus just to flights heading to a specific destination.

Says the airline’s media group:

TAG Heuer launched a campaign to drive awareness of a new retail facility they recently opened in Las Vegas. The campaign targeted luxury goods consumers traveling to Las Vegas during the promotional period. Messaging was placed on United’s Gate Information Displays in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco for flights bound for Las Vegas. 

There would be some general branding and awareness value in running that message at all gates – whether the flight is going to Moline or Boise. But tuning the message to displays just at the gates bound for that destination is both interesting and efficient. Down the road, that’s the sort of granularity that will be common as data drives ad targeting and buys.


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