- American Airlines partnered with agency MediaCom and the mobile tech firm Mobsta for an ad campaign that equips British black taxis with geofencing technology to serve real-time ads to the mobile phones of passers-by, according to a press release made available to Mobile Marketer.
- The taxi fleet has received a cosmetic change as well, being wrapped to display American Airlines branding with some help from taxi advertising specialist Ubiquitous. The cabs will use target audiences' location data to deliver real-time ads to smartphones, with the goal of promoting American's 16 daily flights from London to New York and in-flight Wi-Fi, per the release.
- The campaign, which runs Sept. 22 to early November, also includes ads on digital panels, online and shopping centers around London. The release claimed this is the first time geofencing technology has been used in this way with a moving object.
American Airlines is showing another creative way that brands can use mobile technology to catch users in the moment and raise awareness for their products and services. Reaching consumers with an ad as a branded taxi passes could drive traffic to the airline's site or app, while also positioning it as a top-of-mind innovator in a relatively crowded travel space. It's also natural for people to take taxis to get to the airport, which could inspire some last-minute travel plans.
This move builds on previous location-based marketing efforts from American. In 2014, it announced it would test beacon technology at its hub in the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to help users navigate the space, notify them of real-time flight updates like delays or gate changes and gather user behavior data, according to a press release by telecom company SITA. Last year, MediaCom dabbled in geofenced sites as well, but the new effort is seen as taking the idea a step further. Other travel companies are also embracing mobile location tech, including airports in the U.K. and Houston, TX, which have installed beacons to provide a more personalized experience for consumers and boost mobile engagement.
Many brands have enlisted location-based marketing to their strategies in order to acquire more detailed customer data, though the tactic doesn't always come without backlash. Many are concerned about their privacy and security, choosing to opt out of location-tracking apps or otherwise demanding added transparency as to how brands use their information. Some consumers are particularly sensitive to intrusive ads as well, which could turn them off to the brand or product. However, it appears that American Airlines' latest effort is a relatively subtle — and creative — move that taps the trifecta of mobile, OOH and digital.