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Advertising Tools 101 Business cards and stationery are relatively inexpensive to design and print. To ensure a professional look, business cards in particular should be printed using an outside printing shop. 11.3 SIGNAGE Signage presents the opportunity to promote the airport brand and message beyond the airport at predeter- mined locations. (Signs on moving vehicles are the exception to this rule.) There are three main types of sign- age that can be used to promote the airport: · Outdoor advertising · Portable banners, flags, and awnings · Meeting or convention displays Exhibit 11.9 displays the main forms of signage on the basis of cost. (Section 11.3.5 contains a more complete description of signage cost issues.) As with other forms of media, actual costs are not provided because they vary widely by market. Exhibit 11.9--Cost of Signage. Cost of Signage $ $$ $$$ Display & Portable Jr. Posters Permanent, Rotary, Signage Bus Media & Digital Billboards & Posters (One time cost) Shelters (Production plus Benches per month/per unit) (Production plus per month/per unit) Source: Oliver Wyman 11.3.1 OUTDOOR ADVERTISING Outdoor advertising includes billboards, posters, digital displays, buses, and shelters and benches (not typi- cally used by airports). Selection of a particular form of outdoor advertising depends on these considerations: · What is the airport's budget for advertising? · Who is the target audience? · What are the best ways to reach this audience? · Is it better to go for one large billboard or several smaller posters? Billboards are the most important type of outdoor advertising and are also the most expensive. Billboards and other outdoor advertising are discussed Sections 11.3.1 and 11.3.2, respectively.
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102 Marketing Guidebook for Small Airports BILLBOARDS Effectiveness Cost Commercial Service General Aviation $$-$$$ ··· · Definition: Billboards are large advertisements placed outdoors at strategic locations along highways, on exit ramps, and in high density commercial areas. In practice, billboards are more often used by commercial ser- vice airports than by general aviation airports because they target a very large audience. When placed in the right locations, billboards have the advantage of reaching a large percentage of travelers. Often, they are placed along the highways that local residents take to reach a larger out-of-town airport. Billboards are particularly effective at raising awareness of the existence of the local airport and of the services offered. They are often used to help reduce leakage of passengers to other airports in the region. Because drivers only glance at billboards momentarily, they must carry short messages. Also, because bill- boards are of long duration, they are typically not used to advertise specific fares or other information that changes frequently. The main drawback of traditional billboards is that they are expensive, both to pay for the billboard location and the development costs for design and printing of the billboard itself. Billboards are used to make a general statement about the convenience of the local airport, as shown in Exhibit 11.10: Exhibit 11.10--Harrisburg International Airport Billboard. Source: Harrisburg International Airport Or billboards may provide information about a specific service as shown in Exhibit 11.11.
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Advertising Tools 103 Exhibit 11.11--Lehigh Valley International Airport Billboard. Source: Lehigh Valley International Airport OTHER OUTDOOR ADVERTISING Effectiveness Cost Commercial Service General Aviation $$-$$$ ··-··· · Definition: There are a variety of other outdoor advertising tools. Posters are basically smaller versions of bill- boards, and junior posters are even small versions designed for urban areas and foot traffic. Sometimes if sat- uration is the goal, well-placed posters in a downtown area or signs on buses can also convey the message effectively. Digital displays, which are replacing some traditional billboards, offer the capability of making inexpensive changes in message. Sometimes, they are also less expensive than traditional billboards because they carry multiple advertisements with any single ad showing for 10 seconds at a time. Each of these media addresses certain audiences as Exhibit 11.12 describes. Posters, billboards, and digital displays are all suitable for airport advertising. Exhibit 11.12--Outdoor Advertising Matrix. Typical Overall Type Sizes Location Uses Production Relative Cost Billboards 10'6" X 36' Expressways High visual impact to Digitally pro- Most expensive to 10' X 40' or Main large groups of people. duced on heavy produce and display. 14' X 48' Arteries Two types of billboards: gauge vinyl Geographic region permanent or rotary and actual location (Rotary billboards are determine cost moved every 2 or 3 months) Posters 12' X 24' Same Target special groups, Same Same saturation strategy (continued)
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104 Marketing Guidebook for Small Airports Typical Overall Type Sizes Location Uses Production Relative Cost Jr. Poster 6' X 12' Close to Time sensitive, sea- Digitally pro- Low cost per thou- street level, sonal, special events, duced on sand urban areas, get out the word, flood paper or vinyl foot traffic the market Digital Same Same as 10 second message on Graphics pre- Graphics design but Displays as Bill- Billboards billboard type display pared and sent no production costs boards and Posters via email/no and paper or Posters vinyl/easy to change Bus Displays Varied Buses Brand building, repeat Digitally pro- Low cost per messaging, good sub- duced on thousand stitute for television paper or vinyl Source: KRAMER aerotek, inc. 11.3.2 PORTABLE BANNERS, FLAGS, AND AWNINGS Effectiveness Cost Commercial Service General Aviation $-$$ ·-·· ·-·· Definition: Portable signs are signs with messages and graphics printed on cloth that can come in different shapes and sizes; usually as a flag, banner, or awning. They can be flexibly used both inside and outside and, because they are light weight, they are portable and reusable. They can be displayed in many ways (e.g., attached to a wall, suspended from a ceiling, draped over a table, etc.). 11.3.3 MEETING OR CONVENTION DISPLAYS Effectiveness Cost Commercial Service General Aviation $-$$ ·-·· ·-·· Definition: Display signage pertains to the graphics and messages incorporated into displays such as a table- top, pedestal, or booth used for tradeshows, conventions, or conferences. The reason to exhibit at one of these events is typically to raise awareness about the airport, promote development opportunities, and attract prospective tenants or transient pilots. The exhibit location at the larger conventions is very important. Some states purchase large exhibit space and individual airports from the state share the space. Full-fledged booths are expensive, so make sure that the return on investment is acceptable before choosing this option. The companies that make trade show booths offer many other kinds of smaller-scale options such as pedestals or tabletop displays. This approach coupled with portable media is an affordable combination.
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Advertising Tools 105 11.3.4 COST OF SIGNAGE For all signage, there are four cost components, assuming that the brand and messages are already in place: 1. Artistic direction, placement negotiation, oversight 2. Graphic design 3. Production of actual media 4. Placement (location), frequency, and/or duration The cost to place outdoor advertising, such as a billboard, varies widely. The specific location of the billboard is a driving factor in monthly rents. Rents for billboards along major freeways in large cities will cost more than rents along lesser traveled highways in smaller communities. Similar to print ads, the cost for outdoor signage also varies by the size, with larger signs costing more than smaller signs. Exhibit 11.13 shows 2008 rates pro- vided by Lamar Advertising Company. Exhibit 11.13--Sample of 2008 Monthly Costs for Outdoor Advertising. Population Sample Markets over 18 Jr. Poster Posters Billboards Digital Displays Typical Overall Sizes 5' × 11' 10.5' × 22.8' 14' × 48' 14' × 48' 10.5' × 22.8' Altoona, PA 99,862 $180 $793 $2,300 $2,000 St. Cloud, MN 138,158 Not available $705 $2,500 $3,100 Corpus Christi, TX 425,000 $170 $675 $2,354 $5,350 Youngstown, OH 433,973 $320 $1,052 $4,110 $1,800 Bakersfield, CA 510,300 $238 $1,047 $4,280 $8,025 Chicago, IL 5,188,500 Not available $1,070 $9,630 $12,000 Source: Lamar Advertising Company The cost for portable signs such as flags, banners, and awnings can be very reasonable. There are a number of companies that specialize in making custom-designed flags and banners. They can also supply the hard- ware required to display these signs. Price will depend on the specific materials used for the sign as well as the size of the sign.
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106 Marketing Guidebook for Small Airports Display costs vary widely, and can be quite expensive. Factors impacting the cost of a display include the type of display, its size, specific features or attributes of the display, and graphics chosen for the display. Contact one or two display companies in your area to obtain a detailed list of options and their prices. The following are ways to save money when using signs: · Preparation of the graphics If jointly advertising with other groups (e.g., chamber of commerce, airline, or supplier) investigate their graphics department as a lower cost option to develop the graphics. · Outdoor Advertising Always negotiate the price of placement of an outdoor advertisement. There may be a special gov- ernment rate or public service rate. Know who the audience is and where to reach them. Advertising companies have multiple loca- tions. Evaluate visibility against price. Do not settle for an inferior location that is cheaper unless the visibility is satisfactory for the target audience. Compare the cost of producing a vinyl billboard with the cost of a digital display if one is available in the area. · Trade Shows Evaluate the cost of exhibit space. Consider sharing a larger space with other airports in the state. Partner with the chamber of commerce, other economic development groups in your region, FBO, or fuel supplier. Rent exhibit structures rather than purchase them if exhibiting at conventions outside the area. Use portable signage and display items that can be reused. 11.3.5 CONCLUSIONS ABOUT SIGNAGE Signage can be a very effective way to promote the airport. As with print ads, signage should incorporate the airport's brand. Messages should be crisp and clear, and exposure is key. Some experts say that a bill- board should have no more than six or seven words. Get the airport's brand out in front of its target audi- ences as much as possible and give the brand time to work. If billboards are part of the campaign, make sure they are strategically placed to be viewed by the airport's target audiences. Reach and frequency goals should be met. Reminder: Use a consistent message and design in all airport signs. · Keep the images and messages simple for outdoor signage. · Incorporate an entertaining, lasting "hook." · Use the airport's tagline or logo in the signage to increase airport awareness and recognition. Seriously consider using portable signage as part of the airport's marketing strategy. Once these signs have been developed and purchased, they can be used effectively in a multitude of ways over time.