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01-17-11, 11:46 AM #1
company sees opportunities in putting ads at bottom of airport security line binsHis new company would design and manufacture bright, white, clean-looking bins for the security lines. Bins that were more attractive than the clunky gray ones that most airports were using. He would offer to provide them free, thus sparing the airports the expense of buying their own. As a sweetener, he would also provide the carts to shuttle the bins that have gone through the checkpoints back to where more travelers are waiting, and would provide the tables for travelers to put their items into the bins. He would promise to replace the bins regularly, so they always looked crisp.
All he asked in return was the right to sell advertising on the floors of the bins.
"Sometimes the best ideas are simple ones," he said.
So far, he said, his bins are in 23 airports (he started with the big ones; he said he is in LaGuardia, JFK and Newark in the New York area, O'Hare and Midway in Chicago, Los Angeles, Orlando, Seattle, San Diego, Denver, and hopes to rapidly expand). And here are some of the companies he said have advertised with him:
Sony, Microsoft, Zappos.com, Honda, Charles Schwab financial services, Skechers shoes and Amtrak.
(Why Amtrak? It makes perfect sense, when you think about it. If someone is annoyed about the air-travel experience, what better place for Amtrak to appeal for future train business?)
The security lines are a paradoxically ideal place to make a pitch, he said: "The reality is, even though people don't like the lines, they accept the need for them." The advertisements in the plastic bins "can humanize the experience. They can put a smile on someone's face. Bring a chuckle."
And the beauty of it all from a merchandising point of view, he said, is that there's no way to avoid seeing the ads. You can electronically record a television show and zip through the commercials; you can flip through a magazine and skip the advertisements.
But when you finally reach the front of an airport security line, it's just you, and the bin, and the message.
The Transportation Security Administration has signed off on this and has set guidelines for the equipment; SecurityPoint Media doesn't pay the government for the right to put the bins in airports, but the TSA seems to like the idea of a private company picking up the costs. "The program is a good example of a public-private partnership that saves taxpayer dollars," TSA spokesman Nick Kimball told me. The individual airports share in the revenues from the advertising; Ambrefe said that the company now has 30,000 bins in airport security lines.
More here: The airport ads you can't miss - CNN.com
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