Have you ever been on a trip?

When we think of transit advertisements, we usually think of advertisements on buses, metros, and even taxis. We rarely consider aerial advertisements. And if we do, we’ll envision advertisements on the plane itself. If you’ve been to an airport recently, however, you’ll know that there are advertising opportunities everywhere.

If you’re a business owner or advertiser looking to expand your knowledge of OOH (out-of-home) marketing, this is the lesson for you. Here are the fundamentals of airport advertising.

What is it?

So, exactly what is airport advertising? In truth, it’s exactly what it says on the tin; it’s advertising done at an airport.  Though often overlooked, airports have a distinct place in the world of out-of-home advertising. People are always traveling, whether that be for work, vacation, or a family emergency. Getting their ads in these places is a great investment for many entrepreneurs.

Much like other forms of OOH marketing, airport advertising comes in many varieties;

  • Backlit Dioramas
  • Spectaculars
  • Mini Spectaculars
  • Banners
  • Digital Video Screens
  • Airport Shuttles

Let’s go over these options and analyze their purpose.

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Backlit Dioramas

From Lamar

So, if you’re like me, you’ve got no idea what these are. There’s no need to be concerned; the explanation is straightforward. Backlit dioramas are massive display ads that show static images. They typically light up and draw attention to themselves. You’ll typically find backlit dioramas in major airports. Despite their various forms, these displays serve roughly the same purpose. They call attention to themselves and work to increase the exposure of your ad.

Backlit dioramas are displayed above baggage claim carousels, security lines, and near the passenger check-in area. They are frequently free-standing, mounted on a wall, or hung boldly from the ceiling. You simply cannot overlook them.


From True Impact Media

Spectaculars are also prominent. These are light-box advertisements that you’ll see in a wide range of locations. Most notably, they’re in high-traffic areas. This means you’ll find them in the lobby, near taxi lines, near rental car centers, and other places.

Mini spectaculars are obviously smaller, but they serve the same purpose. You’ll frequently find these in arrival areas or concourses.

What makes these ads “spectacular” is that they provide income at a lower cost. This allows advertisers to experiment with marketing. If you’re nervous about placing ads inside an airport for the first time, spectaculars are the way to go.


From True Impact Media

You may be reading this with limited resources and thinking to yourself, “Could I just put my billboard design inside the airport?” Surprisingly, the answer is yes.

Indoor airport billboards are known as banners. They are frequently comparable to advertisements seen inside a subway or regional train station. However, banners are frequently much larger. These advertisements add a splash of color to any airport. They’re also the reason you’ll see a lot of big-name advertisers plastered all over the walls and ceilings.

If you already have a pre-made billboard design, you can easily work out the dimensions and get an airport banner.

Digital Video Screens

You may have noticed those digital video advertisements standing around the mall. If you’re lucky, you might’ve seen them on the street. In airports, you can do the same thing.

Once again, digital video screens do exactly what they say on the tin. Within an airport, they are digital screens. There are numerous reasons why a marketer would choose this type of advertisement. First and foremost, it is a type of DOOH marketing; a strategy that people will widely use in the future. Digital advertisements provide a level of engagement that no static ad can match.

Humans inherently gravitate to movement. They enjoy watching action and animation. It’s why YouTube and Tik-Tok are so popular, and why we make going to the movies such a big deal. Let’s face it: if you want to draw attention to your advertisement quickly, digital screens are the way to go.

You can reserve a film spot in an airport or have your commercial loop alongside other advertisers.

Airport Shuttles

From blog.ucsusa.org

Perhaps you’re perplexed by this one as well. What the heck is an airport shuttle? You might think it’s some kind of futuristic aircraft that will transport you to the Milky Way. Unfortunately, this isn’t Star Wars.  Nevertheless, an advertiser can still reap tangible benefits from an airport shuttle.

Shuttles resemble public buses in appearance and operation. People can easily move from one location to another within a large airport. Business travelers normally use them. They will park at the airport before taking the shuttle to their gate.

Advertisers use these vehicles, much like bus advertisements, to place exterior stickers and interior cards.

How Much Does Airport Advertising Cost?

Now to answer the question on everyone’s minds: How much does airport advertising cost? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t so simple. Because of the sheer variety of airport ads, nobody can tell you the set cost. Pricing largely depends on location and size. Advertisements in bigger airports are priced more than in smaller ones. 

Naturally popular locations will also cost more. You’ll see the most expensive airport advertisements in the big cities or places where lots of people travel to and from. Think about your Chicagos, your NYCs, or your Miamis. 

To advertise to a very specific audience, you must target smaller areas with that demographic. You may have to pay more if you want to reach a diverse group of people from all walks of life.

Ultimately, it depends on exactly what you want out of the advertisement, and your available budget.