Transforming Air Travelers’ State of Mind with Eye-Catching Digital Signage in Cyprus
From the first meeting at the construction site offices at Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus, Michael E. Kyriakides, Managing Director of Ad Board Media, set a very clear objective: A state-of-the-art media showcase program that would complement the new €450 million, 100,000 square foot, three-story terminal at Larnaca International Airport. This digital network was the main challenge of the Larnaca Airport Digital Signage Project, taking into account that the airport is the biggest infrastructure project ever deployed in Cyprus.
Larnaca International Airport is often used as a hub by passengers traveling between Europe and the Middle East, and Cyprus’ status as a major tourist destination means that the number of travelers has steadily risen to more than 5 million passengers a year. This is double the capacity for which the old Larnaca airport was originally designed.
In 1998, a tender procedure was started to develop a new terminal to increase the airport’s capacity. The elements of the expansion included a new control tower, fire station, runway extension and additional administrative offices. The new terminal was built approximately 700 meters west of the existing facilities, adjacent to the new control tower, with new aprons and jet ways. The new terminal opened in November 2009 and can handle 7.5 million passengers per year. It has 16 jet ways, 67 check-in counters, eight self-service check-in points, 48 departure gates and 2,450 parking spots.
Multimedia Ad Solution
From the outset, a key objective for the new terminal was to transform the experience and state of mind for all 7.5 million air travelers and their 7.5 million “meeters and greeters” by showcasing Cyprus as a modern and technically competent country from the moment they arrived.
The new advertising program is run by Ad Airport Media (a subsidiary of Ad Board Media, a leading out-of-home media owner in Cyprus) and Clear Channel Interspace Airports. The program combines traditional media, as well as one of the largest digital networks ever deployed in Cyprus, consisting of more than 330 screens powered by more than 40 Scala 5 Players.
Minicom’s Digital Signages’ solution, the DS Vision 3000 series of HD media distribution and screen control, was chosen to maintain the network’s high video quality when distributing it via CAT 6 over long distances and controlling the displays remotely through RS232. This was necessary because the Scala Players are located in several secure, air-conditioned rack rooms spread across the airport, and the same channel is being played on numerous displays simultaneously.
A project of this scale faces several challenges due to its size and the numerous key decision makers such as the airport owners, the airport advertising provider, advertisers and passengers, all of whom need to be satisfied when designing the end product. After careful deliberation, both the airport advertising provider and the digital screen software company came up with a detailed structure and media mix that would enable advertisers to capitalize on the lucrative consumer groups travelling in the airport, and at the same time maximize revenue for the airport and the advertising company.
The decision was made to offer a dynamic combination of uniquely differentiated high-tech static and motion media strategically located within the airport. This move also offered advertisers an additional benefit by providing an opportunity to both small and large organizations to advertise while taking their budget, branding message and targeted consumer group demographics into consideration.
This mood- and mind-changing experience starts from the moment passengers disembark from their planes and enter the concourse arrival areas. Upon arrival, travelers are met by two of the most distinguished media: The Sequential Digital Strip and the i-Player. These are strategically located next to the terminal’s moving walkway, or travelator, increasing the time passengers spend when traveling through the area, thus maximizing the media’s impact. The majority of the displayed advertisements focus on Cyprus and what it has to offer visitors. Advertising content is spread across an array of high-end brands ranging from Rolex and Ulysse Nardin, telephone providers such as Vodafone, luxury golf properties for sale, private banking products and many more.
The Sequential Digital Strip
The first medium passengers encounter in the east and west arrival concourses are two large Sequential Digital Strips, which are video walls, each built from 64 46-inch LCD screens and controlled by eight Scala Players with Matrox TripleHead2Go. This advertising wall provides a single branded message to be displayed across all the screens simultaneously. By using Scala’s triggering and metadata, it is ensured that the right piece of content is played at the right time.
The Sequential Digital Strip is a high-impact medium, frequently used in order to dominate an area and place the advertiser’s brand at the forefront of its target group’s mind. The structure is designed in such a way that the creative message can accompany the passengers on the travelator. This particular set-up takes the position of the passengers, their visual field and how their eye movement flows over an advertisement into account.
The installation consists of blocks of eight, 16, 24, 40 and 64 screens. The same creative message is placed on each screen block, and the duration of the content loop matches exactly the time that a traveller stands on the travelator. This allows advertisers to broadcast their messages continuously or repeatedly so that a passenger can view the entire message at least once at each stage of the travelator trip.
As travelers approach Passport Control, they will see a bank of i-Players. The i-Player is a revolutionary digital signage application consisting of seven 52-inch high-definition LCD screens, set up to create the illusion of a single canvas. It enables the broadcast of coordinated and synchronized creative messages to passengers on the travelator. The installation guarantees an increased impact and maintains attention span in an environment with nothing else to distract the audience.
The i-Player has set new standards in display quality and message opportunities to reach exclusive target groups. It is located in Concourse Arrivals, a high-traffic area providing unavoidable visual impact.
As travelers leave Passport Control and descend into the Baggage Claim Hall, a visual feast awaits. Within each of the five baggage carousels a “video cube” is located, consisting of thirty 40-inch LCD screens in 3×3 and 2×3 configurations. The cubes are a one-of–a-kind medium, and their innovative and iconic shape delivers unsurpassed coverage that captivates its audience. They offer area domination and high-impact features to advertisers due to their rectangular shape and location, their radical design and the immense variation possibilities regarding the creative messaging on the cubes. The digital screens’ impact is furthered due to all five cubes playing a synchronized message on all sides simultaneously. This gives passengers a 360-degree view of the brand advertised in the entire area at the same time. The Scala Player software synchronizes the content on each of the cubes to display a unified message.
This section of the digital signage path at Larnaca Airport also uses Scala template features in the content production process on all five baggage conveyors. There is no other digital signage set up like this worldwide, making it a truly memorable ground-breaking installation.
The last part of the digital signage experience is located in the airport’s “meet and greet” area. Here, those waiting have been watching a 2×2, 46-inch video wall and two 46- inch portrait screens, strategically placed next to the flight information displays.
Preparing for Departure
In order to also reach departing travelers, the check-in area is equipped with:
- Five 46-inch LCD portrait screens, strategically placed next to the flight information displays;
- Two 2×2, 46-inch video walls right at the start of each entrance; and,
- A feature wall, also called “Amorphous,” made up of twelve 46-inch LCD screens augmenting the car display of BMW.
To complete the audience coverage, eight 46-inch LCD screens are set up as an 8×1 video wall located in the VIP lounge.
All in all a significant investment took place at the new airport and included a large and spectacular indoor media landscape, designed as an integral part of the new airport, high-profile outdoor advertising sites and a network of digital locations across the airport. The complete project is the largest deployment of digital advertising ever built in Cyprus and was completed on time to meet the official opening on the November 17, 2009.
The communication strategy provided by Ad Airport Media and Clear Channel Interspace Airports has not stopped there. It continually evolves via the technologically advanced products it puts forth. At the moment it is working closely with Scala on new, innovative ideas to be placed in effect in 2012, to present advertisers the opportunity to offer a more personalized message to its target groups.
“The digital signage solution that was created at Larnaca International Airport is a showcase project for how to create surroundings and fantastic digital exposure to a captive audience. Scala is proud to support this iconic project with its flexible and stable software and long-lasting experience to create high quality content, scripting services and project management support.”
– Oscar Elizaga, Vice President of Scala, EMEA
Feedback from advertisers has been positive, and the airport looks forward to continuing to offer a combination of differentiated media technology that is aesthetically pleasing while being in line with Larnaca Airport’s main business goal — maximizing profits. Nearly 100 advertisers have used the new advertising media in the airport since its opening, with 60 advertisers using only digital media.
About Ad Board
Ad Board was launched in Cyprus in November 1999 as a one-stop shop for advertisers who recognize value for money and look for optimum exposure and high return on their marketing budget. On this basis, Ad board quickly became a leader in Outdoor advertising in Cyprus. Led by an enthusiastic team of experts in media, it soon became the first company to offer complete or specialist media packages including Stadium coverage, with its unique giant screen and LED displays, at major sporting venues.
Ad Board also specializes in Mall Advertising and Point of Sale advertising. Ad Board offers point-of-sale advertising at the largest supermarkets on the island, Carrefour and Orphanides. Panels are located at every stage of the shopper’s journey from carpark to store entrance, and act as the last impression before entering a crowded environment. Regarding Mall Advertising, Ad Malls Media understands how mall shoppers interact with advertising and strategically have positioned both interactive and non interactive displays around certain strategic locations in Malls.
Ad Board catches the audience at all points of their journey – from street side advertising to malls to airports to point of sale advertising. More information at www.adboardmedia.com.
About Clear Channel Interspace Airports
Clear Channel Interspace Airports manages over 200 exclusive airport advertising concessions, in North America, Caribbean, Central America and Europe. Airports provide the valuable combination of an exclusive access to the best demographic audience, best education, highest incomes and business decision makers in any community market area and the most exclusive product. They create successful airport partnerships which develop exciting and attractive community showcase programs which link those airports closer to their regional business community and deliver substantial increases in revenues. Above all else, they believe that attractive customized displays are critical to the appearance of the airport and the success of the advertising program. Working with airport management and airport architects, their designers create a dynamic, exciting enhancement to the terminal, while providing the best product for each market segment. Every program is customized with unlimited advertising choices. More information at www.clearchannel.com