HSBC, Nivea ads have a smooth takeoff in airport space

HSBC’s smart use of airport space & Nivea’s innovative stunt offer some key takeaways for brands while planning their airport advertising strategies

e4m by Priyanka Nair
Updated: May 8, 2013 8:12 PM
HSBC, Nivea ads have a smooth takeoff in airport space

With businesses going beyond borders and people spending more time travelling, brands are trying to literally move with their consumers – be it via cabs, airlines, buses and so on. The economy of scale and wider reach that such mediums provide is a major reason why they are gaining prominence in brands’ outdoor media mix.

Advertising at airport spaces has become more sophisticated over time, with brands vying to attract a premium, captive audience. HSBC and Nivea are two such global brands that have leveraged airport advertising in a smart manner. exchange4media takes a look at how these brands went about with their campaigns and what are the key takeaways.

HSBC’s smart strategy
HSBC advertises in around 50 airports across 24 countries with the universal brand proposition: ‘The World’s Local Bank’.

Watch HSBC’s airport campaign

High visibility:
It is not necessary for a brand to always invest in innovation, sometimes smart planning can create wonders.

Perfect capture of target audience: Airport being a closed environment, the amount of attention brands can get from the audience is tremendous. For a brand like HSBC, such an environment works best.

Better recall: With multiple touch point reach across markets, it is an excellent strategy that HSBC has adopted.

Nivea’s ‘ambush’ strategy
Nivea came up with a novel way to create buzz around a new product at an airport in Germany. The stunt – a clever, if highly sadistic bit of ambush marketing – is destined to go viral.

As part of the campaign, Nivea and its advertising agency Felix & Lamberti ambushed a series of people in an airport waiting room with a mischievous multimedia barrage that made it appear as though each one was wanted by the police for some crime. The agency secretly took each person’s photo, then quickly printed it on a fake newspaper cover identifying the person as a fugitive, which an actor would then carry over and pretend to read near the person.

Next, the photo would appear on a TV overhead as part of a fake newscast that described the person as dangerous and unpredictable. Naturally, the victim’s confusion and stress grew with each passing moment. Security personnel soon approached, but then the ruse is revealed. They open a suitcase to find Nivea’s new Stress Protect deodorant, apparently perfect for anyone under intense pressure, whether the subject of a dodgy manhunt or not.

Nivea stressed that the victims were not actors. In a comment on the YouTube video, the brand claims to have thoroughly researched the people to make sure they were healthy enough to take part and that it had the people’s friends lure them to the airport, and that the actual duration of the stress was fairly short.

Watch Nivea’s campaign

Smart innovation:
Innovation doesn’t always require high investment. With this kind of campaign, Nivea got more attention than it had expected.

Keep the brand proposition alive all the time: Throughout the ‘act’ the brand proposition was used subtly and thereby, when the product was revealed audiences could relate to it immediately.

Invest in an idea, not in recourses: Nivea chose the right thought and the right place to execute such as idea.

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