According to the "Arbitron Airport Advertising Study: Exploring an Undiscovered Upscale Medium," the reach of airports is significant with 92 million Americans having flown in the past year. Eighteen percent of this group - or 17 million people - are Frequent Flyers who are affluent, well-educated and sophisticated consumers who take four or more flights per year and account for nearly 60 percent of all airport advertising impressions.
One-third (33 percent) of Frequent Flyers have an annual household income of at least $100,000 compared to only 10 percent of the average American. More than two-thirds (68 percent) have a college or graduate degree.
"Airport advertising has traditionally targeted the business-to-business and technology sectors, but frequent airline travelers are sophisticated consumers with varied tastes and the income to pursue their interests," said Diane Williams, custom research analyst, Arbitron. "Airport advertising presents a unique opportunity for premium brands, especially luxury goods and entertainment services, to reach their upscale targets in a captive environment.
"Affluent Americans are becoming harder to reach through other media. The growing popularity of DVD's, TiVo and handheld jukeboxes such as iPods, allow these innovative consumers to get entertainment while limiting their commercial exposure. Outdoor advertising, particularly at airports, is an excellent way to reach this audience."
The number of consumers using air travel from season to season is remarkably consistent, with a slight peak occurring only during the winter holidays when one-quarter of Americans fly. In this modern world of heightened security, Americans are getting to the airport earlier and spending more time in the lobby and terminal areas each time they travel. While waiting at the airport, 72 percent of travelers read the airport advertising billboards around them and 64 percent pass the time by shopping.
Forty-five percent of Frequent Flyers are "Mega-Milers," consumers who log 261 or more miles per week in an automobile and are heavily exposed to outdoor advertising. Less than a third (32 percent) of average Americans clock that many miles per week. Thirty percent of Frequent Flyers are heavily exposed to street furniture and transit advertising by walking five or more miles a week in a city or downtown area, compared to 21 percent of the general population. This makes the airport a natural extension of any outdoor campaign.
"Airline travelers spend less time with television and are heavy consumers of other out-of-home media including billboards and street furniture," said Jacqueline Noel, vice president of Outdoor, Arbitron Inc. "Airport advertising can be an important compliment to outdoor campaigns and should be part of the standard media mix. This is particularly true for advertisers of luxury goods."
The research from this study also includes information from Scarborough Research, the leading provider of consumer shopping and media information in the U.S. Based on consumer data from Scarborough Research, Frequent Flyers are two-and-a-half times more likely than the typical consumer to buy high-end jewelry and watches; two times more likely to buy or lease a luxury vehicle; and almost one-and-a-half times more likely to buy an MP3 player.
The Arbitron Airport Advertising Study: Exploring an Undiscovered Upscale Medium represents the first comprehensive analysis of the airport media audience and its consumer profile. The study is the fourth in a series examining the power and impact of out-of-home/outdoor advertising: The Arbitron Outdoor Study, 2001; The Arbitron Cinema Advertising Study, 2003 and The Arbitron National In-Car Study, 2003.
For additional information on Arbitron studies, please contact Diane William, Custom Research Analyst, Arbitron Inc. This study and all other Arbitron studies can be found on Arbitron's website at www.arbitron.com.
In July 2003, a total of 2,005 people, age 12+, were chosen at random from a national sample of Arbitron's Spring 2003 survey diarykeepers and interviewed over the telephone. Additional studies, consisting of a national representative sample of 1,000 respondents of airline travel among adults 18+ were conducted in October 2003, January 2004 and March 2004 to allow for seasonal trending.
This report also contains information from Scarborough Research, the gold standard for consumer shopping behavior research. Scarborough interviews 200,000 consumers for its national survey covering more than 75 U.S. markets. In each local market, Scarborough asks which airport the consumer utilizes most often; as a result, Scarborough subscribers can analyze the local shopping and consumer profiles of specific airports.
Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) is an international media and marketing research firm serving radio broadcasters, cable companies, advertisers, advertising agencies and outdoor advertising companies in the United States, Mexico and Europe. Arbitron's core businesses are measuring network and local market radio audiences across the United States; surveying the retail, media and product patterns of local market consumers; and providing application software used for analyzing media audience and marketing information data. The Company is developing the Portable People Meter, a new technology for radio, television and cable ratings.
Arbitron's marketing and business units are supported by a world-renowned research and technology organization located in Columbia, Maryland. Arbitron has approximately 900 full-time employees; its executive offices are located in New York City.
Through its Scarborough Research joint venture with VNU, Inc., Arbitron also provides media and marketing research services to the broadcast television, cable, magazine, newspaper, outdoor and online industries.
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