October 4, 2007

Advertising on the overhead bin now a reality

Back in March 2006 I wrote a post suggesting that airlines could use the blank panels on the overhead bins as advertising space. I made a mock-up of what this ugliness might look like:

An alert leader pointed me to news that came out this summer: Ryanair — Europe’s largest low fare airline — has just put this into practice. Here’s a quote from their press release:

We are delighted to be the first Brand to market with this new advertising medium… The Aeropanel® offers a unique and exciting advertising format in an uncluttered, relaxed and comfortable environment

It was bound to happen.


Will the horrors of ad encroachment never cease?

This one is relatively innocuous, but come on.

I miss unprinted space.

Seriously Ben? Were you born with the inherent knowledge of all products and services available to you? Ads are a reality, and these ads aren’t even interrupting you. They’re sitting there waiting to be seen, unlike most TV/Radio/etc ads. I welcome this trend with open arms. Bring on embedded ads I say, don’t interrupt what I’m doing.

They just now made a press release? I’ve been seeing this on ryanair flights for, oh, at least a year now.

You’d think this would lower the quality of the ryanair experience but you’d be mistaken. Now the audio advertisements that run a couple times a flight, those lower the quality of the experience.

It’s really sad that your mock-up looks so much better than the real thing.

“these ads aren’t even interrupting you”

not yet they’re not. Remember when the ads at stadiums (the ones on the sideboards, beside the field) were just a plain, printed advert? Then they changed it to a rotating collection of static ads, and now they’ve made them all into LCD panels and the ads are animated and ever so distracting. Watching a game now is the equivalent of try to reading a blog with flashing animated gifs all down the sidebar.

Sure it’s not so bad now, and it helps make the price cheaper, but don’t think it’ll stop at that.

Way to make your airplane look like a subway car.

I think Gar was a little harsh. We all understand that ads have a place, and aren’t going anywhere. That doesn’t mean we have to like seeing them, regardless of their frequency and geography. The eye needs some neutral territory from time to time. I mean, if the bins are now ad space, why not the backs of seats? Why not the tray tables (I know usair is doing this)? Why not the center aisle and the window shade, too?
If it substantially brings down the cost of flying, it might be worth it. But I doubt that’ll be the case. This kind of revenue will probably just go towards digging the industry out of the price-fixing, nearsighted, poorly-planned hole they’re in.

Dr.Zismore has to advertise somewhere!

Dude! That was my dermatologist! Ha!

I do agree with Walter. The mockup looks much better.

And, honestly, I find that the ads inside NYC subway cars are a good distraction during commute — or, at the very least, an excuse to quickly look away from staring at a cutie. *grins*

Two things: one, I rode on RyanAir this summer, and *everything* is an advertisement. The overhead bins, the napkins, the placemat, even—no kidding—the air sickness baggie. The intercom played a non-stop series of aggressive, deafening ads, interrupted only by the flight attendants using the intercom to… promote RyanAir services and products! Which leads me to my second point…

Namely, no one minds some advertisement, and in certain places (inside magazines, for instance), I might even like it. I might stumble on a gadget I want, or whatever. But the world (some of it anyway) is a beautiful place, and we should not cover every square millimeter of its surface with ugliness. We have every right to legislate when, where and how intrusive advertisement can be (rule of thumb: the more you are a captive audience—nowhere more than on an airplane—the more you have a right to demand non-intrusive advertisements that do not distract). I like working on an airplane, too, but I think I have the right to raise my eyes from my laptop screen once or twice during a 5 hour flight, and see something other than a hideous ad. I’m not saying overhead bins are a work of art, by the way, but they are visually neutral in a way that ads are usually not. Anyone want to bet that RyanAir doesn’t exercise a lot of restraint in choosing ads that are tasteful and discreet? Anyone?

In The Space Merchants, Pohl and Kornbluth imagined them flashing commercials on the plane windows when you looked out. It’s coming.

couple of months back I was flying in southwest airline from vegas to baltimore. In that I did not find any kind of ad but there were painting made by 5 to 7 year age group. It was really cool seeing those. Atleast I prefer something than nothing.
And airlines are gaining some money from advertising company its benefit for traveler as ticket fair may reduce in future.

@Rob : the air sickness bags have always been some form of advertising, for as long as I can remember.

I can’t confess to having checked since the rise of digital photography, but for decades air sickness bags have been film development bags - a tickbox and address on one side and a big Kodak (or whoever) ad on the other.

In a way it’s genius, since not only is it advertising but also the mechanism of executing the offer. Of course the wise traveller waits until the end of the flight before putting the roll of film in the bag…

they are advertising on every single bit of space possible! madness.

I rode on RyanAir this summer, and *everything* is an advertisement…

Good God. I couldn’t bear how awful that would be. I imagine going down in one of those planes, my final moments spent soaking in a can full of ads.

Thank you so much for deciding not to include the entire Jonathan Zizmor ad. It is by far the worst piece of transit advertising in existence.