App usage, real-world and online behavior, past purchases and searches, time spent on the road and other pertinent details, like whether a person is traveling solo, all went into the segmentation mix.
“We leveraged a combination of demographic data and location and layered on behavioral targeting to hit consumers while they were in the actual airport,” said Alia Lamborghini, SVP of sales for North America at Millennial Media, now a part of AOL.
The Emirates campaign ran in February and March, roughly six months before Millennial was acquired by AOL.
Using audience profiles courtesy of Millennial, affluent consumers ages 25-plus on airport Wi-Fi were targeted with expandable full-screen rich media interstitials and video ads housed within an Emirates-themed skin extolling the virtues of the carrier’s luxurious cabins, including an onboard lounge with a fully stocked bar, where passengers can mingle, snack on hors d'oeuvres and sip on cocktails.
Like with any campaign, Havas kept a close eye on frequency to ensure the ads weren’t getting irritating and that the media buy wasn’t creating waste, said Mark Gordon, SVP and group account director at Havas.
“Once a user has engaged with the campaign, we will limit exposure for an appropriate period of time and then ramp up again after an acceptable ‘rest period,’” Gordon said.
Rather than hitting the globalistas within particular apps or mobile sites – say, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune or Financial Times, publications one might expect wealthy business travelers to read – the units were targeted at the people.
“This was less about the content and more about the audience and looking at the consumers themselves, their behavior and their habits,” Lamborghini said.
Behavior and habits that are becoming distinctly mobile, Payne said.
“As mobile adoption continues to trend upward in the US, consumers are spending more and more time considering, reviewing and making travel decisions on their mobile devices,” he said. “To meet our consumers where they are consuming content, mobile has played an increasingly critical role in our media mix.”
The rich media ads netted Emirates more than 5,000 visits to its website, while the videos were viewed to completion over 170,000 times, with an overall engagement rate 3.5 times higher than Millennial’s previous benchmarks.
Although Payne declined to share sales numbers connected with the campaign, he did note that there was “a measurable impact on ticket bookings.”
Part of that was due to the ad formats, video in particular, Lamborghini said.
“Video is a great canvas in general,” she said. “But in a case like this, you especially need sight, sound and motion to illustrate the differentiated level of luxury available on an Emirates flight from New York to Dubai.”