I saw a brilliant marketing move as I walked through the San Jose airport today on my way back from Seattle. In the middle of the San Jose airport is a bar/cafe. This is nothing unusual except for the name of the cafe which is “The Expedia.com Cafe”
The brilliance of it is that they get prime advertising space in a busy airport at no cost (assuming that the cafe breaks even). Even if the cafe does lose some money (which I doubt – it was quite full when I went by), the advertising that the company gets I’m sure far outweighs any losses that occur.
They are hitting their target customers (people traveling) and while the shop isn’t selling their product (as far as I could see – I passed by on my way to baggage claim), they did have advertising for their website on the tables inside. They are also building brand recognition much better than any of the companies using billboard advertising in the airport (what stands out more, a 3-D neon sign or a billboard?)
Quality advertising in a high traffic area toward their target audience and at absolutely no cost. Brilliant.
I predict that we will be seeing this a lot in the future. Just as companies have bought the naming rights to stadiums for advertising purposes, I’m sure that we will see more and more companies purchasing shops in high traffic areas where advertising space is limited.