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October 16, 2008 / Toby Dayton

Boredom Works For Some Advertisers

Over the years, I have written on numerous occasions about the growing presence of advertising in airplanes. Because the trend has not been so obvious with Northwest, the airline that accounts for 90% of my air travel in any given year, it is just that much more startling when I fly another airline and see the extent to which advertising is plastered on every square inch of open space in an airplane. It now covers the seat tray, the napkins, the security line bins…even the baggage claim carousel. it cannot be escaped.

But as it turns out, the ads work. A new finding by Triad Consulting indicates that 79% of the consumers who saw an ad on an airplane seat tray were able to later recall the advertiser in an unbiased setting. Triad aggregated the data from 17 other studies to determine that airplane advertising, given the captive nature of the audience, is an effective venue for advertisers. “The very high recall rate may be due to the fact that the consumer is viewing the message for an extended period of time, said Dr. Mark Guadagnoli of Triad Consulting. “The key points more easily transfer into long-term memory,” which makes it an “effective” platform.

What also helps advertisers is how ill-prepared so many people are for being stuck for hours in a single seat in a confined space. I am amazed at how many people get on an airplane without a book, magazine, newspaper, or anything with which to occupy their time. I, on the other hand, fully expect and am adequately prepared to be stranded on the tarmac for a minimum of 19+ hours. I always have at least 6 magazines, a book, a laptop and an extra battery, DVDs, an iPhone and 2 fully charged iPods with TV shows, movies, music, games, apps, etc. (perhaps one of the many reasons I am referred to by some as ‘Captain Excess’). If more people arrived on an airplane with something other than the Sky Miles magazine and the ad on the tray table to pass the time, advertisers might stop plastering ads all over the cabin.

5 Comments

  1. Harley / Oct 16 2008 4:05 pm

    The use of an airplane seat as a venue for sales was a Petters idea (i.e., Sun Country Airlines) that will now likely never get implemented.

  2. Harley / Oct 16 2008 11:05 am

    The use of an airplane seat as a venue for sales was a Petters idea (i.e., Sun Country Airlines) that will now likely never get implemented.

  3. TimS / Oct 17 2008 1:54 pm

    Never get implemented? I won’t be surprised if we end up with our rears on an ad that is on the seat I am going to sit in. They are everywhere else so why not? We did looked into airport advertising recently but because of the cost decided against it. A captive audience that remembers the tray table does sound like it might be worth a test investment. Thanks.

  4. TimS / Oct 17 2008 8:54 am

    Never get implemented? I won't be surprised if we end up with our rears on an ad that is on the seat I am going to sit in. They are everywhere else so why not? We did looked into airport advertising recently but because of the cost decided against it. A captive audience that remembers the tray table does sound like it might be worth a test investment. Thanks.

  5. TimS / Oct 17 2008 1:54 pm

    Never get implemented? I won't be surprised if we end up with our rears on an ad that is on the seat I am going to sit in. They are everywhere else so why not? We did looked into airport advertising recently but because of the cost decided against it. A captive audience that remembers the tray table does sound like it might be worth a test investment. Thanks.

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