A real dialogue at the airport

Jean-François Decaux is CEO of our marketing partner JCDecaux, which has had a stake in Media Frankfurt for some 20 years. The global network is Media Frankfurt's backbone for an extraordinary, international network in airport advertising that no other location in Germany can boast. In our interview on the occasion of the 50th anniversary, Jean-Francoise Decaux explains what makes Frankfurt so special as a location.

Environment, leisure time, internationality and net household income of the passengers at airports are unique in the expression of its characteristics for the OOH environment. What makes up the attraction of airport advertising for you?

The airport is a place of real dialogue between the audience and the brands through emotional and impactful experiences, including real-time experiences and personalised interaction.

Airports offer brands the opportunity to capture passengers’ attention and to engage with them through a truly immersive and one-of-a-kind experience. Audiences that are on the move, and airport passengers in particular, have time to engage in a deeper dialogue with brands. For example, we developed an immersive concept in Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (China, pictured below) where you enter the brand universe.

Rather than delivering a one-dimensional advertising message, outdoor advertising gives advertisers’ target audiences a deeper, more contextual and even poetical context which resonates with their mindset when they enter the airport.

JCDecaux is the expert for airport advertising at more than 150 airports in 40 countries. What is the role of Frankfurt in this advertising network as one of the three most important hubs in Europe?

Building upon a successful collaboration which started in 2001 with Fraport, our JV model is a reference for other Airport Authorities. Committed to support Frankfurt Airport in its strategic ambitions, JCDecaux has rolled-out an in-depth media transformation plan, including the introduction of iconic digital media opportunities to amplify the passenger experience while offering one of the major communications-platform for brands. When discussing with Airports, it helps JCDecaux to illustrate how an historical and robust partnership has mutual benefits by enhancing the airport environment, further raising engagement and ultimately generating revenue to invest in delivering an even better customer experience.

From a sales perspective, a commercial offer including the 3 main European gateways to the world - Frankfurt Airport with London Heathrow and Paris CDG – gives a competitive advantage to JCDecaux whilst offering Frankfurt Airport a unique exposure to international brands thanks to its international sales structure: JCDecaux OneWorld. It’s been recently decentralized and re-organized in 5 regional centers of excellence (Paris, London, New York, Milan and Shanghai) for a greater proximity with clients.

Frankfurt Airport has also been active in the airport omnichannel strategy development and it contributes to enrich JCDecaux expertise in airport advertising. MediaFrankfurt was invited to be part of a pilot with also Heinemann and Lufthansa and they proposed the first 360° campaign to the brand La Prairie in 2019 and then delivered post-campaign measurement.

New data-based solutions are on the rise in the OOH airport advertising market. One first step has been the common launch of AAM (Airport Audience Measurement); presenting KPIs which are normally only known in online advertising. What are the upcoming trends in the OOH market? And especially, where will the digital journey at airports go?

Data is becoming a strategic asset. Its quality, accessibility and usage (in a privacy-safe way) are fundamental to our transformation to develop sustainable and scalable value across the company and for our stakeholders. The media industry is undergoing profound changes. In our view, in-depth data analysis will have a transformational impact on market analysis practices, knowledge of our partners and advertisers, media strategies, media planning, measurement practices (for audience, impact and efficiency), ROI, working methods and decision-making processes.

In this context, when it comes to think about “digital journey at airport”, we have already added a new layer to our sales strategy by monetizing the data starting with viewed impressions, as a new currency, meaning the total number of times a passenger will see an ad on all displays selected for a campaign.

A significant part of media trading is now programmatic and JCDecaux launched VIOOH in 2018, a global independent platform designed to accelerate the growth of OOH/DOOH and connect the industry to the programmatic digital ecosystem, all with full transparency. The aim of VIOOH is to automate the planning, trading and serving of content to screens.

In March 2019, JCDecaux launched the first international audience measurement system for the airport industry: AAM (Airport Audience Measurement). Developed to offer advertisers and agencies standard metrics throughout the world related to their audience when booking a campaign. AAM had been introduced gradually in our main hubs and will also be used in Frankfurt next month.