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Camie Dunbar   |   Mar 30, 2018 5:17:32 PM

What type of traveler are you? Do you track the take-off time and cut it as close as possible or a “Gate Potato?”

Gate Potato: one who nevers leaves the airport gate area in fear of missing their flight no matter how long before it takes off (See Also: Couch Potato)

Either way, companies are cashing in on both types of passengers. Airports across the country and beyond host hundreds of thousands of guests each week and companies realize more and more that airports, if done correctly, can actually capture a broad audience and market reach beyond their wildest expectations.

RECORD 965 Million Passengers traveled through the US in 2017


Airports + Experiential Displays = INCREASED REVENUE

Millions of daily travelers walk by thematic displays each day, hoping to engage from an experiential marketing standpoint. It’s the shooting fish in a barrel analogy. Marketers across all industries are realizing more and more that this cacophony of demographics along with expanded airport options can create a formula geared towards any brand or product.

To be highly effective, these non-traditional approaches to marketing need to be convenient, relevant, entertaining, buzz worthy, and provide the audience with an immediate form of value (or else they are flying off into the sunset).

Over the past several years, Innovative Group has partnered with several brands to create innovative pre-flight experiences around the United States. Here are a few...

American Express

Fly Faster to Greater Rewards! Innovative Group was invited by American Express to develop a launch strategy for the launch of their Premier Rewards Gold Card. It became AMEX’s flagship entree into the Airport environment.

A state-of-the-art display modeled to look like the inside of a first class commercial airliner. Featuring everything from faux seats, window portals, and overhead luggage space transformed into a display case of premiums. The experience was complete with an interactive flight simulator that allowed users to navigate a virtual plane while subliminally learning about the benefits of the new PRG credit card. Uniformed sales representatives dressed as flight attendants and pilots, further embraced the immersive experiential environment.

The 3 month strategy was extended 4 additional times at 5 major US airports and reached an estimated 4 million travelers.  

JP Morgan Chase

Innovative Group has had the opportunity to work with JP Morgan Chase on several occasions to create experiential marketing platforms at various airports. Because of the various environments, Chase required that a manned and unmanned strategy be presented.

The unmanned airport activation lives in San Francisco International Airport’s busiest domestic concourse - T3. The posh serpentine lounge display features oversized comfortable seats, charging stations to power multiple devices, a creative 3Form Spine that can adjust colors as brands are interchanged and a of course multiple acquisition opportunities for Chase and their United MileagePlus® Explorer Card.  


For other activations, Innovative Group partnered with Chase and United to find new ways to attract and engage with prospective customers by meeting them where they were.

IG created a revolutionary acquisition display that included design elements resembling the exterior of an airplane. The Consultative Sales Team utilized the vibrancy and uniqueness of the display to draw in potential customers and showcase the brand’s value proposition.

These displays featured:

  • Large HD display monitors with programmable media content
  • Informational Tablets
  • Interchangeable graphic packages; and
  • LED lighting to stand out in the sea of advertisers

IG’s work extended beyond simply creating the display. Their team of solutionists™ also handled much of the behind-the-scenes work, including:

  • Managing all permit and construction-related tasks;
  • Location sourcing  
  • Fabricating displays that exceeded airport safety and compliance requirements; and
  • Overseeing all of the required electrical/data installations.

In addition, Innovative Group developed Chase’s airport acquisitions team strategy by revolutionizing the in-airport consultative selling approach. IG’s solution included the creation and implementation of new training methods and innovative approaches to compliance-driven management and compensation techniques.

In all, the displays resulted in over 5+ million impressions.



What’s the upside of working with Innovative Group? A revolutionary online start-up travel company, aptly named Upside, asked themselves that same question. After multiple strategy sessions, they realized it was the in-airport activation experience that Innovative Group brought to the table which would guide their brand into a new marketing arena.

Upside turned to Innovative Group to help build upon its corporate travel base program at the Philadelphia International Airport. From start to finish, Innovative Group was able to procure a brand new location, construct an exclusive display and data capture program, and garner over hundreds of thousands of new traveler impressions in just a few short months.


Return Your Seats to the Full Upright…

Experiential airport marketing provides an opportunity for marketers to reach a wide audience in a contained, yet ever growing environment.

Traveling soon? Be sure to look for more inspirational experiences from Innovative Group, who is set to launch another round of experiential marketing campaigns for Chase and Southwest Airlines at airports across the country soon.

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