OK, so it’s not really outdoor advertising, but the big six legacy airlines have begun to slap ads onto their paper tickets and boarding passes.
The new ads will include geographically relevant promotions for destination businesses like hotels, restaurants, theme parks and golf courses. They started showing up this week on Delta flights to Las Vegas, and they’ll be rolled out to other flights and carriers over the next few weeks (see demo here).
Omaha based Sojern has launched the effort by signing five-year deals to serve ads for American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, United and US Airways. The start-up recently launched with $16 million in VC funding and a majority ownership by these airlines, which will also take a rev share.
Airlines are clearly getting squeezed in all kinds of ways, including fuel prices and recession-driven travel reductions. This is one way to offset losses. Though some initial reactions involve distaste, it kind of makes sense. And it sure beats fare hikes.