Last year, a staggering 27.9m passengers passed through Dublin Airport, a figure which is likely to grow by anything up to 6% this year. With 40 airlines operating from it, flying to 180 different destinations, it is also the fastest growing airport in Europe.
It’s also Ireland’s largest transportation hub with over 1,500 local, urban, national and coach movements daily as well as having the largest taxi rank and car parking facilities in Ireland. You can add to this list the fact that it’s the most checked into place on Facebook and that the Dublin-London route is the second busiest in the world and the busiest in Europe.
With such a large physical footprint and substantial captive audience passing through it on a daily basis, it’s no surprise to learn that Dublin Airport has been ramping up the commercial potential from all of this over the past few years through a range of advertising and brand partnerships.
Now the company is about to embark on the next stage of its commercial focus with the launch of dedicated sales unit called Dublin Airport Media Sales the rolling out of a new strategy that will unlock the true potential that this sprawling national asset has at its disposal, according to Ronan O’Donoghue, head of brand partnerships & client relations at Dublin Airport Authority.
“It’s about focusing on our core USPs which revolve around a captive audience, a two hour dwell time, an ABC1 profile and the unique environment. Essentially, we’re taking a new direction on how we sell advertising at Dublin Airport. At the centre of this is our new vision which is about transforming Dublin Airport into advertising theatre. With this we’re opening up the Airport environment to a new way of brand engagement like never before,” he says.
“As part of this new approach we’ve taken a fresh look at the full array of our advertising inventory-physical and digital- with a view to offering advertisers a chance to spend some real quality time with their customers, our passengers. We believe that anywhere we can find or create a positive passenger experience and offer that moment to a brand is a win win opportunity. We’re also using our rich data and deep customer insights to build out smarter advertising products for greater targeting efficiencies.”
One example of this, he says, is the depth of insight and market intelligence it has on the motoring sector, based on its significant car parks business.
“For the first time, we’re able to offer brands advertising solutions based on a sizeable Irish customer database. Overlay this with our deep understanding of passenger travel behaviours and it makes for a unique and valuable advertising product,” he says.
“My own objectives are to get the industry to see the airport the way I see it. This is a space like no other and matched by no other. This is one of the last great underutilised marketing platforms in the country. The overall objectives of Dublin Airport are to continue to grow, continue to drive advertising revenue, continue to identify new opportunities for brands here and continue to offer innovation and creativity for the OOH sector.
“How will we achieve these objectives? We’re currently in the middle of hiring new people, re-launching the sales team as Dublin Airport Media Sales and creating new ad products and formats for the market. We’re going out to the industry shortly to show it the new vision, new energy and the new opportunities that exist here. We want the industry to reappraise the role airport advertising can play in the wider marketing communications mix and show them what’s possible when you see the airport through the lens of advertising theatre,” he says.
Over the coming months, O’Donoghue and his team will be reaching out to brands, advertisers and agencies that might be interested in partnering with Dublin Airport, says O’Donoghue.
“The first thing we’re doing is going out to the market with a roadshow presentation showcasing our new vision, new team and new products. Since I arrived at the start of the year the team and I have been busy looking at ways to enhance our existing formats, develop new ones and generally identify the full scale of potential an international airport like this can offer advertisers. The roadshow presentation will bring all that hard work together.
“We also know how valued media firsts are within the industry and with that are working to develop a range of solutions covering areas like a Dublin Airport Wi-Fi partnership, large digital formats, experiential activations, indoor laser projections, a ‘Story Wall’ format, sponsorship and brand partnerships for areas like the fast track, our car parks and our executive lounges as well as an optical illusion site and naming rights, he says.
In addition, he says Dublin Airport is currently developing a working relationship with at least two other Irish media owners, including a radio group and an online publisher, to offer the industry greater reach and engagement across audiences such as ABC1’s and the business community.
“We’re also hoping to partner with Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and London City airports to extend our digital footprint via a connected advertising package across all three airports digital networks targeting the international audience.
So far, the market has responded very favourably, he says.
“It’s been really positive. The general view out there is that we have such great potential. And not just because our audience numbers continue to grow and break records but because we have such a unique environment where brands can actually make a real impact and connection with their customers, be that through our airport wide digital network, our premium static sites or through our new experiential and brand partnership opportunities. The market is always on the lookout for new media opportunities and with our re-positioning of Dublin Airport I feel there’s real appetite out there to see what can be done here,” he concludes.
First published in Irish Marketing Journal (IMJ August 2017)© to order back issues please call 016611660