X ray advertising.
It is not a joke, but the umpteenth gimmick that comes from the United States.
Promoting it was TSA, the governmental agency in charge of transport security, that has given free way to a new form of adv. Protagonists: the plastic trays where travellers put their personal objects at the checkpoint control.
Actually, companies may use the bottom part of the trays, a space of 12 x 17 (that’s how big the trays are), for their business sponsoring.
In exchange they will have to supply TSA with brand new trays, carts and containers.
The top management of the American agency is satisfied, and - commented the spokesperson Ellen Howe- it has started up an innovative process within a territory where up till now any form of adv was banned; adv that is able to guarantee a medium-sized airport a turnover of 500 thousand dollars yearly.
The first experiment was led in Los Angeles, where Rolodex, specialized in office products, grabbed the first trays.
Protests, though, were made, starting from the press agencies of some airports.
According to Patrick Hogan, the person in charge of the Minneapolis -St. Paul international airport communications, advertising – especially if provocative –risks to distract travellers while they are emptying out their pockets.
On the same line Mark Leberman, co-CEO of Interspace Airport Advertising adds “A plastic tray is not an optimal location to conquer new consumers: at a time of agitation like that of the security check very few people focus on the advertising message”.
Joe Ambrefe Jr, president of the Security Point Media company, has a completely opposite opinion, among the first to welcome TSA’s invitation. “Today consumers have multiplied their receptivity towards advertising. And especially during waiting time, like the long checkpoint line-ups, they are even more open and pliable to the advertising messages.”
This is confirmed by the intense activity at SecurityPoint, which- in order to buy 3000 new trays and all the support material for the sponsoring campaign of the St. Peterburg airport in Florida- has invested 250 thousand dollars.
This is a remarkable sum, especially in a critical period like this, that is making many experts change their minds.