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Friday, January 12, 2007

Airport Security Bins and 10 Other Spots We Need Advertising

Securitybin_1Apparently, the latest "innovation" in advertising is offering up ad space on the bottom of those security bins used in every airport.  Despite fears that it might confuse people during an already confusing moment of separating liquids and laptops into quart-sized bags, it seems that airport authorities are ready to go ahead with the plan (according to a piece earlier this week in USAToday).  After all, if consumers are used to ads everywhere else, it seems only natural to put them here too.  But what are some of the more unique places with advertising opportunities that we are not tapping?  Surely in this overexposed world there are other unused canvases just waiting to be decorated by the brilliance of advertising creative.  Here's my list of a few that we might see sometime soon, some ideas on who the perfect advertiser for each might be, and an example tagline:

  1. Hubcaps (Goodyear, Car Manufacturers, ZipCar) Nothing handles these roads like Goodyear.
  2. Fruits and Vegetables (5aDay, WeightWatchers) Try this fruit with [product name here]
  3. Bottom Logos on Beach Flipflops (to make footprints in sand) (Beach Resorts, Crocs)
  4. Screen Printed Contact lenses (Nike, Lenscrafters)
  5. Chinese Takeout boxes (Netflix) Would you like some Netflix with that?
  6. Public Restroom Doors (Glade Air Fresheners) Glade ... if it stinks, we can fix it.
  7. Grass/Lawns (Local sports teams, local elections, Residential services)
  8. Airline seat backs (Portable DVD players or MP3 players) Watch your own stuff.
  9. Movie Theater Popcorn Bags (Candy bars, Orville Redenbacher) Movie theater taste, right at home.
  10. Printed Aluminum Foil (GE Ovens, Betty Crocker) The ultimate choice for baking.

Isn't this too much?  Of course not!  Consumers are still free to ignore the messages, aren't they?  Anyway, I also have the perfect advertiser and tagline for those security bins ... Amtrak: "Next time, take the train."


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Other advertisers have already beat you to some of your ideas. Hubcaps were done for a laundry detergent promotion (the clothes rotated behind a faux washing machine window). Fruit (esp. bananas) have stickers with Disney characters and movie promotions. A political party in a country I can't remember imprinted its initials on flipflops and had its supporters walk around on beaches with them before the election. The inside of restroom doors have long been a spot for advertising posters (even some urinals have motion sensors that trigger an audio ad). There's a new kind of artificial grass made up of optical fibers being adopted by some professional football fields that can light up with ads. And airline tray tables now open up to show advertising. I have no doubt that ads will soon show up on the rest of the items on your list. You can't escape!

My favourite but not so in your face is the posters spread out over steps, so as you walk toward the stairs you are presented with a display add thats spread out over the vertical bits of the stairs.

There's a few in train stations in the UK.

Great stuff. How about ads for erectile dysfunction medication printed on condoms? The slogan: "We grow with you"

Jeez, ads on fruit and vegetables? How about hamburger buns...avertising ground beef? "Fill us up with the best"! Not all that appealing. But hey why not? It's space that can be filled, right? ; )

Keeping w/ the bathroom trend...I've always wondered why you don't see more adverts on paper towels or even TP (esp. at industry conventions or sporting events). I guess some would argue that they don't won't someone wiping their butt w/ the brand, but I bet it would create some buzz. Assuming the TP is soft, that brand wants to be associated w/ "sting ring." ;)

I'm all for whitespace.

I'm with ya, Greg. I watched a tape of Boris Becker's first Wimbeldon win & couldn't get over how pristine both the court AND the TV screen were. The walls weren't plastered with sponsor logos, the network wasn't constantly flashing promos, and the score didn't have company names tacked onto it. It was, in turns, delightful and depressing. I think we're getting a bit carried away with this drive to place advertising wherever there isn't any already, as discussed in today's NY Times:

I rewatched 'Lost in Translation' again this weekend and it's probably as close to Tokyo as I'll get in my lifetime. It's disturbing. Strictly from an advertising point of view.. it makes me want to move to the Yukon or something.

I don't long for the future of the invasion of everything.

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I am trying to find a supplier for airport security bins, but haven't had any luck. Does anyone know where I can buy them?

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