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Gordon Young
Editor-in-chief at The Drum

Brands to be offered mobile-beacon packages following £8m investment by Eye Airports

Airport ad company Eye Airports has invested £8m in advertising media and technology, including beacons, that will allow brands to "dominate" specific areas within airports that the business operates.

The redefining airports project, which began to roll out last week at Stansted Airport, will see the investment ploughed into new digitised welcome screens, large digital screens in the terminals and a major refresh of advertising-specific screens.

In addition to Stansted, the investment spans Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle, East Midlands, Bristol and Southampton airports and will offer retailers and brands within the Eye Airport network, including Tesco, Land Rover, Hyundai, O2, Tesco, Thomson, and EasyJet the opportunity to capitalise on packages including mobile functionality, beacons and other new technologies.

Speaking to The Drum Eye Airports managing director Sarah Parkes said that the company is working with “a number of interested parties” before the full launch in December, and that Eye Airports is mulling the idea to “carve up” the airports so that they will have a launch partner for each airport individually, to allow brands to dominate a specific area.

“What we will be able to do is actually give brands a number of opportunities in key environments, where brands can dominate that space. So that is across all digital and static media, but the advantage of the airport environment is that we can also then tailor that with experiential and bring the brand to life.”

For example, last week the new World Duty Free store, which is the largest duty free store in Europe, opened in Stansted, and with that a high street featuring 70 inch digital screens placed at the centre.

The musical Wicked was the first brand to advertise on the space, which Parkes said indicates the flexibility of the airport environment when it comes to the type of brands looking to advertise.

“Because of the audience that advertisers are targeting they have the benefit of an airport’s audience which is largely a domestic audience. Yes [that includes] retailers in the airports but also money spent on the UK high street, so we do attract a lot of automotive brands, finance brands and entertainment.”

Parkes said that mobile and iBeacons will play a large part in the investment and Eye Airports will build on its current Amplify solution, whereby all media, both digital and static, has the Amplify mobile tag attached, which allows passengers to interact and have content pushed to their phone.

“We will be using beacons to zone various different areas of the airport so we can push targeted messages to passengers based on where they are in the airport; that can be anything from mobile offers, so you could have a mobile voucher.”

Eye Airport is also looking to introduce the ability to push flight updates and other important information to improve the passenger experience.

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