Monday, 17 August 2009

British Airways - Boarding passes and to carry ads

British Airways have announced that they will start selling ads on online boarding passes and on

This is another example of monetisation of a core product / the theory that anyone can become a 'publisher'. Las Vegas hotels have been selling their buildings as mega poster sites and in the airline industry ads on planes have been in evidence for some time:

Ryanair Cable & Wireless liveried plane

Some airlines have also sold space on their portals, but, with the exception of in flight magazines and lounge sampling, BA have to date resisted offering their core properties to advertisers. However, from October this will change as BA offer ad space on the 12m online boarding passes (economy and business class) that they issue each year and on the website.

Advertisers will be vetted and only companies that have "parity" with the BA brand will be able to participate. BA will then offer interesting targeting opportunities - allowing advertisers to target using passenger data including destination and gender. (This follows a trial on with Jaguar promoting its new XJ model.)

The BA advertising inventory will therefore be based on audience rather than impressions. Being able to target using actual customer data is a good opportunity, particularly for brand messaging from higher end advertisers, with data being harnessed to potentially refine targeting and improve the quality of delivery for online display campaigns.

Online display is not just about cheap reach / direct response and the new BA offerings are part of a wider industry shift towards data driven online display audience targeting. The move to monetise boarding passes and is a positive initiative from BA and it will be interesting to see if others follow (and also what the take up is.)

(via Media Guardian)

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