What's next: Ads on the back of a speeding ticket?
In the latest incarnation of sales pitches infiltrating our lives in ways we cannot avoid, Kansas City International Airport now has advertisements affixed to at least two of its baggage carousels.
The placements - called ADspressive Graphics - come from ClearChannel Interspace Airports, using a concept from DoubleTake Marketing.
The concept allows an advertiser to display a large "banner" on the moving portion of the carousel: the metal slats that finally start moving, then continue to circle as bags slowly make their way from handlers to their owners.
So while thousands of passengers stand around - watching the moving metal, just waiting for a chance to snag their bags and get on with their business - actual businesses can capture their attention with words, pictures and sales pitches.
"It is the only medium where travelers watch the advertisements while they wait 15 (plus) minutes for their luggage to arrive," said Zack Clark, DoubleTake's co-founder, in a statement. "In addition, friends and family meeting the traveler also view the moving ads, exponentially increasing the exposure of our advertising clients."
KCI has two advertisers spinning their pitches on carousels: Isle of Capri Casino and Harrah's North Kansas City. Harrah's, creatively, opted for green, red and black spaces featuring large white numbers, as on a roulette wheel. The slogan: "If your lucky number is between 0 and 36, have we got a place for you."
Isle of Capri is equally less subtle, going with a fistful of bills and the follow-up message: "We'll show you the money."
Apparently the casinos don't see the ads as much of a gamble, considering that, according to at least one study, airline travelers are 80 percent more likely to have annual household incomes above $100,000. That's a conclusion from Arbitron, back in 2004.
"Isle of Capri Casino is excited about being one of the first to welcome travelers to Kansas City," said Brian Watts, the casino's vice president and general manager, also in a statement.
Whether travelers will be all that excited to see such ads, of course, remains to be seen. But with airlines, airports - OK, any business - looking to turn a buck in this tight economy, it appears clear that these airport ads won't be the last ones travelers ever see.