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Hong Kong International Airport Advertising: Smart, engaging, and intelligent OOH

Hong Kong International Airport is a strategic gateway between China and the world.  Serving 74.7 million passengers in 2018, in terms of passenger traffic it is APAC’s busiest international airport and the third busiest international airport in the world.

Though it would be easy to simply bask in the overwhelming potential  Hong Kong International Airport offers as a premium and prime out-of-home (OOH) location, Hong Kong International Airport Advertising has chosen to build on that potential. It has invested hugely in the latest digital technologies to turn prime sites into an incredible experience for air passengers while presenting unparalleled chances for brands and advertisers to connect.

However, making digital advertising work to its full capacity requires a deep understanding of locations and the spaces within them, but more importantly, how passengers interact with these sites.

This Master Report from Hong Kong International Airport Advertising discusses a fantastic collection of digital projects that come together to create an amazing experiential traveller journey across the airport. Making use of audible and visual stimuli, live reactive displays, mobile applications, and more, air passengers are able to form a bond with brands in the airport.


 The era of DOOH

While OOH remains one of the most enduring mediums of advertising, it is currently undergoing its greatest period of change, becoming more valuable and important.

What accounts for OOH’s thriving state? Going digital is one key driver; expanding capabilities to digital has driven enormous shifts to more effective and engaging forms of OOH, offering unprecedented boosts from the perspective of digital, data, and technologies.

Positioned at the forefront of digital transformation, Hong Kong International Airport Advertising has made a substantial investment in the expansion of its network of digital screens – in terms of quantity, size, variety of highly demanded digital formats, and the installation of exciting and innovative digital products across the Airport. These digitalised products have formed smart and instant engagements with passengers, as well as strong social media connections via smart devices.

As an industry leader in digitalisation, Hong Kong International Airport Advertising started to introduce digital advertising formats in 2009. Following their debut, the airport’s digital advertising inventory grew significantly throughout the years to 115 units and is undergoing a digital transformation that has brought it into the digital era. Hong Kong International Airport Advertising developed advertising solutions that serve as a unique showcase to demonstrate how a new digital era has arrived. It has leveraged the power of Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) by presenting a digital experience that integrates innovative ideas and executions, elevating ad campaigns and passenger engagement to a whole new level.

Hong Kong International Airport Digital Transformation

From departures to arrivals, Hong Kong International airport passengers can interact and engage with digital advertising through their journey across the Airport.

Last year, as a part of its digital transformation, Hong Kong International Airport Advertising unveiled the largest example of interior digital media in both Arrival Halls of the airport.  This first-ever pair of Spectacular Digitals – giant high definition LED screens – ensure quality visuals to give brands the ability to deliver innovative, customizable, and dynamic content and premium exposure to millions of travellers.

To further extend the potential of DOOH at the airport, Hong Kong International Airport Advertising has introduced a new definition of digital creativity beyond video and animation. Interactions between digital screens and air passengers have become closer than ever. Dynamic content, where ad material can automatically adapt according to pre-set rules or conditions – such as international time, daypart, weather, financial index, currency rate, countdowns, and more – are increasingly used. Messages can now be fed from digital screens to mobile devices and vice versa. In practice this means that passengers can instantly engage with ad messages on these digital screens via smart devices, performing actions like creating social media posts or using the store proximity function to display the distance to the nearest desired store. This interplay can create stronger and deeper connections with brands.

Additionally, to increase its relevance along the customer journey and to spark customer engagement, there is the “Experiential Zone”, paired with the 360 Digital Totem – the first edgeless four-faced LED screen launched in Asia, that’s since been replicated in other airports – further inducing experiential moments for air passengers.  Powered by new technologies, OOH campaigns revolving around creative impact, innovation, and interactions with consumers have now become more prominent via virtual reality, augmented reality, and new mobile technologies like QR codes, NFC, and Beacons, to ensure passenger engagement levels. Technologies of these kinds may allow brands to personalize consumer experiences and provide the chance for immediate interactions. An OOH campaign perceived primarily as a brand-awareness driver can now become an instrument in driving real-time purchases.

To perfect the engagement process, Hong Kong International Airport Advertising has proudly launched a digital O2O advertising solution on the award-winning “HKG My Flight” mobile app, developed by Airport Authority Hong Kong.  It can connect with passengers and maximize the audience-reach synergy of Hong Kong International Airport Advertising.  The app provides an O2O advertising solution by creating a personalised passenger experience. Furthermore, by combining the digital advertising panels with the HKG MyFlight app synergy effects are produced as a brand’s messages and airport offers are able to capture passengers from all sides, with the aim of drawing concrete footfall to airport stores.  Air passengers can at the same time enjoy real-time flight details, airport navigation information, and connection instructions via free Wi-Fi upon arrival at Hong Kong International Airport.

This year, Hong Kong International Airport Advertising further pursued its digital transformation with the introduction of new digital media. Specifically, “The Arrival Digital Impact Zone” and the “270° Tri-Digital”, two iconic and impactful pieces of digital media added to the digital inventory of Hong Kong International Airport Advertising.

 Introduction of the new media

  1. The Arrival Digital Impact Zone 

The Arrival Digital Impact Zone is made up of a combination of six digital panels, allowing motion and dynamic visuals that offer highly creative flexibility. The panels are designed for motion graphics, animated ads, and image-flow presentations, producing a striking visual impact to attract the attention of the many air passengers in Hong Kong International Airport.

This new media is strategically located in the Arrivals Central Concourse in Main Terminal 1 bridging the busiest arrival concourse and the immigration hall. It is designed to maximize brand recall communication as it enables absorbing interactive ads to foster passenger outreach.

“Impactful brand communication has become a digital reality through the brand-new Arrival Digital Impact Zone. Hong Kong International Airport Advertising strives to deliver dynamic airport media with motion elements and image flow impact, thus constantly encouraging our advertisers to fully leverage the power of our digital assets. This new media platform can bring greater vibrancy for brands to communicate with audiences in a memorable manner, alongside with extensive creative possibilities,” said managing director at JCDecaux Transport Shirley Chan.

  1. 270° Tri-Digital

Other than the “Arrival Digital Impact Zone”, in early September Hong Kong International Airport Advertising launched an entirely new and unique piece of digital media, the 270° Tri Digital.

Strategically located just after the security checkpoint – in the Departure, Airside, East Hall, Terminal 1 of Hong Kong International Airport – this new media asset catches 100% of departing passengers’ attention. The three-faced coverage offers an unprecedented visual impact perfect for showcasing engaging digital and storytelling-based outdoor campaigns to increase brand awareness, with the impact of its 3D motion that encourages brand recall of messages. With the launch of this element, advertisers will have the opportunity to invite air passengers into an immersive brand experience by using the full potential of its new and iconic 4K high definition LED screen.

A 270° Tri-Digital asset located at the south side of Departures will be launched later on for network buy in the fourth quarter to optimise and guarantee full passenger outreach.

“In a fast-paced media landscape, we strive to deliver the most innovative and competitive media to our clients. Following our digital transformation strategy, Hong Kong International Airport Advertising is glad to introduce such a new iconic digital format in the airport. This new digital format will offer local and global advertisers more advertising varieties and more innovative way to communicate and to exploit the flexibility of DOOH to effectively reach the targeted audience and ultimately help advertisers to grow their business,” commented Chan.

In summary, the potential for Airport advertising DOOH is huge. The current trend in the OOH industry is for audience selling and Hong Kong International Airport Advertising will continue to develop tools and make smart use of the collectable big data of Hong Kong International Airport. This data will provide more comprehensive audience measurement and more precise micro-audience targeting.  The combination of tech, connectivity, data, the smart use of content, and collaborations and partnerships with advertisers and brands has made the outdoor world more engaging, more functional, more connected, and more intelligent than ever!


ABOUT JCDecaux Transport

Shirley Chan, managing director for Hong Kong & Macau

JCDecaux Transport is the main subsidiary of the JCDecaux Group, the number one outdoor advertising company worldwide. Established in 1976, JCDecaux Transport is the market leader in outdoor advertising in Hong Kong and has been managing the advertising concessions for the Hong Kong International Airport since its opening in 1998.

The company also operates the advertising concessions for MTR Corporation, Macau International Airport, Pacific Place Passages and Ngong Ping 360. 

This article is brought to you by JCDecaux Transport.

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