Welcome to the launch edition of Sight Lines, our new eZine dedicated to the world of airport advertising and communications, writes Martin Moodie.

Nowhere do the worlds of aviation and advertising converge more than in airports, often to thrilling effect. For years I have admired The Estée Lauder Companies’ super-sized advertising installation alongside the main escalator leading from the security level to the main shopping zone below at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5. I have ridden down that escalator hundreds of times, each time transfixed by the power and proximity of the image.

Just as I’ve taken countless photos of that installation, so have I of HSBC’s brilliant airbridge campaign that is played out to such telling effect as passengers all over the world board or disembark their planes. That long-running campaign (it has been going for almost two decades) has almost taken a life form of its own, and a unique semantic quality.

What started as ‘The world’s local bank’ and which has now morphed into ‘Together we thrive’ is a kind of Esperanto of the advertising world, a universal language that speaks to a population constantly on the move. And that is exactly what airports represent, a fascinating, ever-changing crossroads of humanity. Multiple races, religions, cultures, ages and socio-economic profiles all brought together under the great umbrella of air travel and captured within those great contemporary commercial cathedrals, airports.

From a communications perspective, there can be no doubting the worth of that audience. But in a 21st century world dominated by social and digital media, one in which millions of consumers are looking down at their mobile devices rather than ahead (or up) at traditional advertising formats, a huge challenge exists in engaging with that audience. Threat or opportunity?

The eyes have it in one of the airport world’s great advertising executions at London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 [Picture: The Estée Lauder Companies]

Jean-Charles Decaux, subject of our inaugural cover story, has no doubts about the answer. Whereas traditional static advertisements could not be adapted to the myriad demographic fluctuations in an airport day, digitalisation allows fantastic flexibility and freedom of communications, he says in part one of a fascinating two-part interview.

JCDecaux has developed VIOOH Content, a real-time content management system that allows advertising to be automatically scheduled according to specific live data feeds – such as destination, language, location, social media, news and weather. As Jean-Charles Decaux points out, this allows the relevant content and the right message to be delivered to the right audience at the right time.

Airport advertising, sometimes considered vulnerable in the digital era, is in fact undergoing a thrilling renaissance. With the launch of Sight Lines, we’re excited to be part of it.

NOTE TO AIRPORT OPERATORS: If you would like to take part in Sight Lines, please contact Martin Moodie for editorial (Martin@MoodieDavittReport.com) and Irene Revilla for advertising and sponsorship (Irene@MoodieDavittReport.com).

The Moodie Davitt Report is the only international business intelligence service and industry media to cover all airport consumer services, revenue generating and otherwise.

We embrace all airport non-aeronautical revenues, including duty free, food and beverage, property, passenger lounges, car parking, hotels, hospital and other medical facilities, the internet, advertising and related revenue streams.

Please send relevant material, including images, to Martin Moodie at Martin@MoodieDavittReport.com for instant, quality global coverage.