Airport advertising with passion

Jörn Hombert, Sixt’s Airport Marketing Director, has been designing, creating and planning airport advertising for more than eleven years. For many years, the mobility service provider was almost guaranteed to win the Airport Media Award – best-practices in airport advertising are strikingly often linked with the brand name Sixt. How does the company succeed in capturing the essence of the airport, in integrating the architecture and special formats so effectively in the advertising message and in perfectly positioning an amusing eyecatcher? A glimpse behind the scenes of the creative workshop.

Sixt and airport advertising are inextricably mixed. Nowadays if you google airport advertising you will find innumerable best-practices from Sixt. What in your eyes makes the environment so special for your messages?

Airports are often very specialised buildings, which stand out. Through their size and architecture they often give us unusual opportunities to reach people and to thrill them. Given familiar pathways, scatter loss tends to be low and (potential) customers can be approached in a targeted way.

Are there one or two particular campaigns at Frankfurt Airport which have stuck in your memory? Tell us why.

In 2015, during the state visit of Queen Elizabeth II, we filmed a viral with a queen-double at Frankfurt Airport. Under the motto “The customer is Queen at Sixt’”, we accompanied “Her Majesty” on her way to Sixt Car Hire. Although very light-hearted, the campaign nevertheless generated some unexpected moments. Apparently, the double looked so much like Queen Elisabeth, that large groups of people followed us, trying to get a glimpse of the queen. Suddenly, the actors booked as security had great difficulty in looking after our fake queen.”

Up to now it has been a speciality of Sixt to perpetuate itself with messages precisely tailored on special formats and to bring a laugh with surprising creatives. How, on a fixed location like an airport, can you still keep finding something new?

Airports are constantly modernising and developing further. They offer a very dynamic environment. So it is not hard to strike out new paths. Particularly since Sixt is a very innovative company and, together with its agents, is always trying out new ideas and approaches.

And how – despite enormous competition – do you manage to stand out with your own signature in airport advertising?

What competition are you talking about? Joking aside. Getting noticed with provocative slogans, extraordinary installations and lots of orange is one thing. But our installations are distinguished by a great love of detail. We cooperate with lots of artists who, like us, inject great passion into the exhibits. We discuss even the smallest details as equals. And, in my opinion, the people who see our work notice this.

May we look a bit into the future with you? In your opinion, which special formats will offer the most exciting stages at the airport in future for amazing campaigns by Sixt? Are there perhaps plans in train already?

Our aim will continue to be to surprise our airport travellers both with special forms of analogue advertising and with innovative digital media. We shall see how mobility and flight habits change world-wide and what exactly that means for advertising. At any rate, we are certainly well prepared.