The Key Trends Within the Airport Environment in 2020

Mzukisi Deliwe, Deputy CEO of Provantage Media Group and head of leading airport environment Out-of-Home player Airport Ads, unpacks the most pertinent trends for 2020.

There is no doubt that airport passenger numbers are increasing annually, bringing bigger revenue and foot traffic to destinations worldwide. But what are the biggest trends that will affect OOH advertising within the airport environment on the African continent?

It is an exciting time for Africa. Africa is seen as one of the fastest growing economic regions in the world and holds numerous opportunities for brands. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) projects Africa to be the fastest growing region to 2036 at 5.9% per annum, for a total market of 400 million passengers annually. This will spur a massive growth in Out-of-Home and Digital Out-of-Home in the airport environment.

Increase in Passenger numbers a plus for Advertisers

The first major trend that will directly affect advertising and ROI is increase in passenger numbers and frequency of travel.

While South Africa’s GDP – a key driver of traffic volume growth – has languished around 1% per annum, Airports Company South Africa’s Annual Report for 2019 shows that there has been a growth of 1.3% in departure numbers, up to 21 118 264 (FY2017/18: 20 836 852). International arrivals have increased by 0,8%. Also, Cape Town International Airport grew its international traffic by 7.7% and 1.8% domestically.

This means that more people are passing through South Africa’s airports, providing brands with a bigger audience to influence.

Expansion in Airport Infrastructure will boost passenger numbers and opportunities to engage

Expansion in airport infrastructure is another key trend that will directly affect advertising. Worldwide the areas around airports are becoming designated aerotropolises and airports on the continent are set to follow suit. The trend is for airports to scale towards better air travel and a better experience for travellers. Furthermore, advertising has become integral to airport revenue and as such media installations and products are strategically located to enhance, rather than detract from, the experience.

For airports, this ensures that brands keep using the environment to meet their marketing and sales objectives.  For passengers, brand experiences enhance the luxury aspect of travel and affiliation with that brand culture. For advertisers it ensures that millions of consumers within a specific income bracket engage with their messaging in an environment that is captive and conducive to assimilation and purchase influence. It’s a win-win situation for all stakeholders.

DOOH in the airport environment elevates campaigns

Over the past few years, digital has been a significant game-changer in OOH. It has unlocked a plethora of opportunities for OOH to be more engaging and effective, adding to its value and importance within the marketing mix. Is it a growth sector in the airports environment? Most definitely.

Airport Ads has made significant investment in various international airports – including OR Tambo, King Shaka, Cape Town, Lanseria, Sharjah (UAE) and Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia) – in the development of DOOH solutions and experiences that integrate innovative ideas and executions. The aim is to elevate campaigns and passenger engagement to a whole new level.

From the perspective of digital, data and technologies, this will expand the opportunities to connect. Strong social media connections via smart devices, geo-location, and other methods of instantly involving consumers within a brand campaign will drastically change DOOH.

Intelligent campaigns engage all the senses

The airport environment offers the opportunity for brands to be bold in their campaign execution. Large format static creative is able to capture passengers from all sides. Combining moving graphics, 3D installations as well as sound and smell completely draws in consumers. Intelligent campaigns create a striking sensory impact, forging an immediate connection with brand messaging.

Intelligent, compelling creative has the ability to create strong relationships with consumers and start conversations that ultimately influence commerce. Brands that are open to and willing to be bold and different will make a big impact in 2020.

OOH advertising within the airport environment is undergoing huge change. It is an exciting time for innovation and opens up infinite opportunities for brands to talk to consumers.