Wherever you fly, ads will follow

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In OOH News | November 12, 2007
At present, Ad-Air is acquiring sites on the Indian subcontinent - it hopes to have sites ready for sale in 18 months' time

Soon you'll

be beset with ads even when you're flying. We are not talking about the in-flight advertisements that are placed at the back of aircraft seats, but the view from the aircraft window.

Ad-Air, the outdoor advertising company based in London, has started a concept wherein it will place outdoor ads as large as 20,000 square feet (almost 5 acres) targeted at air passengers. This segment of consumers is a highly desirable demographic segment for advertisers and it is fully captive while flying. The ads will be placed flat on the ground alongside flight paths in and out of the world's busiest airports, and will be clearly visible from the sky because of their massive size.

Ad-Air in Dubai. Click here
for bigger image
Ad-Air plans to set up such sites near 30 of the busiest airports in the world. The outdoor advertising agency has already set up a site near Dubai International Airport. It is estimated that more than 14 million people will see this site every year.

Ad-Air told agencyfaqs! that the company is very bullish on the booming Indian aviation sector and is currently in an acquisition phase on the Indian subcontinent.

Natasha Bryant, marketing manager for Ad-Air, says, "At present, we're still in the research and acquisition phase on the Indian subcontinent and there has been a positive response so far from both land owners and advertisers and, as such, we hope to have sites ready for sale within 18 months."

Each airport will carry a maximum of four Ad-Air sites, which can be seen from both sides of the airplane. The impacts of such sides will be calculated on the basis of average number of annual passengers per runway, the number of flights during visible periods (daytime only where there is no illumination, and taking into account bad weather), average plane capacity, visibility from all window seats, plus those immediately adjacent, less those over the wing.

Experts in the country have their doubts about the high costs involved and the feasibility of finding a suitable location around airports.

Mandeep Malhotra, senior vice-president, Bates David Enterprise, says, "In such a fancy outdoor media, which is considered expensive for small players, only a handful of big advertisers such as telecom giants, liquor behemoths and new brands looking for instant recall will be keen on Ad-Air."

Malhotra explains, "With property around major international airports costing a bomb, it will be really tough to find such gigantic vacant places, especially around Delhi and Mumbai airports."

Outdoor experts in India believe that outdoor advertisements are judged and qualified on their reach to unique viewers. As airline passengers come from the highest socioeconomic group and many travel only one or two times a year, the number of unique viewers Ad-Air sites will reach outweighs any other outdoor medium. Therefore, the first factor considered by Ad-Air in selecting appropriate target airports is passenger traffic.

Pratap Bose, CEO, O&M India, says, "There is a novelty factor involved in this and it will generate huge interest not just among advertisers, but also among passengers once the word spreads."

Talking about the impact of such sites around the airport, Bose says, "Such sites should be used very judiciously; if the ads are not in sync with the medium, they could be grossly ignored by the passengers. For instance, a huge outdoor space can symbolise the gigantic operations of a company. Measuring the impact of such sites will be really difficult as one can only give a tentative figure based on the number of eyeballs."

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