We've got the tools... But do we have the time?
By Claire Scannell
With the slight fear that even writing this will scare it away, the sun has finally arrived in London. I get it, we’re British, we love nothing more than talking about the weather (maybe a good queue now and again), but you really can’t beat those first few sunny days, when none of us know whether to trust it or not, and we take our first tentative steps out of the house without our thick winter coats.
The shift in the weather inevitably gets everyone thinking about their summer holidays as it suddenly feels much more in reach than the week before.
According to Abta, we are becoming more and more obsessed with the city break, with trusty beach holidays slipping down to second in our list of most popular getaways:
“City breaks overtook beach holidays to become the nation’s favourite holiday type in 2014, a position they have held since then. Over half (53%) of people have taken one in the past 12 months, and similar numbers are planning to take one in the next 12 months”
The fact that people are moving away from the tradition of booking a beach break (often to the same destination each year) and becoming more adventurous naturally means that we need to think about what activities we’ll get up to … more than just getting up early enough to reserve a sun lounger!
With Google at our fingertips and sites such as TripAdvisor allowing us to suss out even the tiniest details or most remote restaurants, the days of just wandering around until we found somewhere that looked good, or asking the hotel rep seem like a million miles away.
We can now plan our holidays down to the minute, but the big question is, do we have time?
Our lives are getting busier, we have family/social commitments, long commutes and even longer working hours so the last thing you want to do after a long day of staring at a screen is … stare at a screen.
There’s a big opportunity for tour companies, excursion businesses or entertainment venues to provide contextual advertising to people within the departure lounge, just as they’re about to set off on their trip. You’re never thinking more about your impending holiday than when you’re sat in departures, stress of check-in/security out of the way and ready to go.
This provides a contextually relevant mind-set, and with the ability to safely and securely book activities online using our phones, the captive airport space can drive action and influence behaviour.
The fact that, unlike other Out of Home advertising environments, such as shopping centres, the exact customer journey is known, provides further opportunities for targeting. Whether that’s Cirque de Soleil selecting digital sites at specific times of the day targeting passengers flying to Las Vegas, or moving away from departures and Legoland enticing international passengers in arrivals, the fact that airports are relatively uncluttered, advertising-wise, means that your brand can either be the last thing someone sees before they board, or the first thing they see as they arrive. That’s a powerful opportunity to influence, drive sales/footfall and be creative in your messaging.
On my most recent trip abroad we actually did our planning over a delicious airport breakfast, so the advertising around us played a big part in our inspiration. The post-holiday blues haven’t been too painful given the arrival of the good weather, but I certainly won’t be wasting any of the sunny hours glued to a laptop screen researching my summer holiday … blink and we’ll miss it!