Airports and the Power of Advertising

What mindset are flyers in at the airport? How much of a role does shopping or advertising play in the air travel experience? Ipsos has carried out an international research project on behalf of JCDecaux to investigate the profile of air passengers, their experience with the airport environment, and their perception of airport advertising.

airports
The author(s)
  • Jarnai Lewin Media Development
  • Tim Bond Media Development
  • Tak Ha Media Development
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This research was carried out across 14 markets through an online survey, providing a new look at the flyer experience following the Covid-19 pandemic. It found that air passengers tend to be younger and more affluent than the general population, and this is further compounded among those flying through airports which JCDecaux are present in. Levels of air travel are returning to levels seen pre-Covid in 2019, as 61% claim they have flown the same frequency or more than they did in 2019. The intention to travel in the future is high.

Across markets surveyed, around 7 in 10 (71%) of flyers consider the airport environment as important to them, regarding the way it’s laid out and its atmosphere. Other prevalent opinions about the airport are that the airport experience is special and very different from everyday life (71%) and that the airport is part of their holiday / travel experience (68%). 

Airport experience

Overwhelmingly, 85% of flyers have made purchases at the airport in the past 12 months (excluding food and beverage) and 65% of flyers agree they are not pre-planning their purchases – this may feed into their receptiveness to airport advertising. Airport advertising is perceived to perform stronger than online or social media advertising across some key advertising metrics such as giving brands an international status, enhancing a brand’s image and making people believe the brand is high quality. Just over 3 in 4 (77%) of flyers claim that they have taken at least one action during or after at least one of their trips in the past 12 months, after being exposed to an advertisement at the airport – actions range from discussing the good or service, to purchasing it.

Ipsos UK and Ireland Chief Executive Kelly Beaver MBE said: “This research underscores the significant impact airports have on passenger perceptions and behaviours, highlighting the importance of airport advertising in capturing the attention and influencing the actions of this highly engaged audience.

Findings echo what’s covered in, Unlocking Creative Out of Home Advertising, as digital OOH is growing and is an impactful channel to reach customers. The 2022 Effie report revealed that using OOH advertising in a marketing campaign’s media mix is linked to stronger end business effects.

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Technical Note

This study was carried out by Ipsos on behalf of JCDecaux. Ipsos conducted a 15-minute online survey of a representative sample of 11,368 participants aged 18-65 in 14 markets across the Globe (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UAE, UK, and USA). Fieldwork took place between 2 November and 1 December 2023.

The sample was split into a main sample and four boost groups (Frequent flyer, Business flyer, Gen Z flyer and Key city). Within the main sample of n=400 per market, with quotas on age, gender, age within gender and region to be nationally representative of each market’s general population. Within this total population (n=5,600), there was natural fallout of those who had flown by airplane in the past 12 months. 

The Frequent flyer boost sample of n=80 per market was defined as those who had flown 5+ times in the past 12 months. The Business flyer boost sample of n=80 per market was defined as those who had flown for in the past 12 months for a purpose of either business-only or a mix of both business and leisure (the latter is referred to as ‘bleisure’ within the report). The Gen Z flyer boost sample of n=80 per market was defined as those who had flown in the past 12 months and were aged 18-24. The Key city boost sample of n=160 per market (unless otherwise specified) was defined as those who had flown through a JCDecaux partnered airport in their market in the past 12 months. The key city boost was not used in Hong Kong and Singapore as the incidence of flyers through these commercial airports is higher. China, United Arab Emirates and the USA had two city boosts, as these markets had multiple cities included as part of the study. No quotas were set within any of the boost samples (n=5,768). 

All main sample data were weighted to nationally represent each market in terms of age, gender and region. All boost sample data were weighted back to the incidence and demographic profile (by age, gender and region) seen within the natural fallout of each group within the main sample. All markets were then equally weighted within this international report, meaning each market has equal weight within the international average.


The author(s)
  • Jarnai Lewin Media Development
  • Tim Bond Media Development
  • Tak Ha Media Development

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