NEW DELHI: As airports resume functioning, Times OOH has started airport advertising with a new campaign The Runway Restart. The Runway restart is a key moment for the aviation industry and for brands for whom advertising at airports has been an ideal medium to reach the premium NCCS-A audiences of the country over the years.
Looking at a few examples from down South, at Coimbatore and Trichy Airports, Times OOH partnered with Naturals, a leading salon chain that sponsored hand sanitisers at the two airports thereby participating in a larger cause and seamlessly merging with the need of passengers and airport. The sanitising units emphasise the importance of hand sanitisation and reinstate safe travel practices.
For another such campaign from the Healthcare Industry by Dr Vanchilingam Hospital at Trichy Airport, MD Dr Sophia Somesh says, “We chose the airport advertising to reach out Indians residing overseas. OOH, advertising has always helped in establishing ourselves as a hospital that comprises state-of-the-art technology with all facilities available and we will continue to advertise in OOH medium in future.”
Brands like Naturals are innovating with unique opportunities like the hand sanitiser utility sponsorship, while there are others that are continuing where they stopped in the pre-COVID2019 times and now post COVID reaching to audiences who now have more dwell time at the airports.
Airport operations began countrywide from 25 May as the lockdown was eased. Till end of July, over 4.2 million domestic passengers took air travel in the Indian soil post-travel restrictions were lifted alongside the International flights under the Vande Bharat Mission. These numbers continue to grow day on the day as we inch towards normalization.
“Travelling in flight is the safest mode of travel when compared to others during a pandemic,” said AIIMS, New Delhi director Dr Randeep Guleria.
Addressing a webinar titled ''Reposing the Faith in Flying'' hosted by GMR Group, Dr Guleria said, "If an asymptomatic person is seating next to you during a short flight and both the persons are wearing masks and face shields, there is less chance of spreading the virus. Travelling in flight is the safest mode of travel & the way airports and airlines are taking precaution during travel in a pandemic situation is commendable.”
Pandemic has introduced new perspectives and fueled consumers to change their behaviour and lifestyle. Even travel behaviours are changing and we are witnessing various initiatives are taken by the airport operators to ensure the safety of the passengers. Some initiatives include mandatory web check-ins, reaching airports at least two hours before departure leading to even higher audience dwell times, going through thermal screening, maintaining social distancing norms via floor markers and marked seats, wearing face masks at all times and pasting PNR on bags by self.
As per Kantar Barometer research, 92 per cent of consumers think brands should continue to advertise to be recognized. In another such research by Edelman research conducted in 12 nations including India, 63 per cent of consumers believed that brands will play a critical role in making their country fight the pandemic.
Omnicom Media Group vice president – investment- Ajay Varghese says, “VW has always believed in connecting with the right audience on the right platform. Keeping in mind the communication for Tiguan and T-Roc the ideal touchpoints have always been the Mumbai & Delhi Airports, known for their captive audience. With the resumption of travel a month and a half ago, airports saw a sudden surge in eyeballs. It made sense at this time to use airport-centric OOH to drive advertising about SUVs that are often used for travel purposes. Airports are currently one of the very few public spaces where people can assemble. While social distancing protocols have ensured that the passenger dwell time at the airport has gone up substantially. In this context, it’s important to capitalise tactically on specific airport spots and locations like Departure Lounges and Security Hold Areas. This is where passengers are spending a majority of their airport time, and therefore placing ads here results in better eyeballs & ROI.”
Mumbai and Delhi Airport, two of the busiest airports in India are also gradually witnessing an increase in flights and are quickly adapting to the new normal. Times OOH is working closely with the airport authorities to understand the new paradigms and innovating to introduce new opportunities for brands.
Call it a Health Care Zone by a leading diagnostic chain, an e-insurance kiosk for availing insurance on the go, food delivery self-ordering kiosks that make contactless deliveries, a contactless automobile experience lounge using the VR technology and more are few areas where new opportunities for brands will arise at airports.