Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Installs Place-Based Advertising System


Through the installation of more than 40 synchronized screens including LCD, LED and multi-touch displays that integrate with a branded mobile travel app, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport created a placed-based advertising system that allows advertisers to connect with the airport’s business and frequent travelers in the context of their trip.

Nominating Company: BLACK, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Venue: Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Project: Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport
Category: Transportation

In August 2015, Billy Bishop Airport opened its new pedestrian tunnel—a 853-foot facility that connected the island airport terminal to a new mainland pavilion, thereby eliminating the need for passengers to wait for a ferry. This made the well-liked airport in the heart of downtown Toronto even more unique and efficient.

Within the facility, the objective was to create a world-class airport experience that integrates human-scale digital signage and attractive advertising, which together contributes to and enhances the passengers’ and partners’ perceptions of the facility and travel experience at the airport.

Conceived by Black, built by Gridcast and powered using Scala Content Manager and Dot2Dot Communications’ Ad Manager, the plan was to incorporate state-of-the-art 4K digital displays, Wi-Fi, beacon technology and a mobile app to create a complete and connected ecosystem to improve the user experience.

BBTCA’s new tunnel facility has been designed as a unique 12-minute experience, intended to efficiently transfer 7,000 to 10,000 passengers per day from curbside to check in. The DOOH and mobile app needed to fit into and augment that travel experience.

The greatest challenge was creating an advertising ecosystem unique to Billy Bishop airport that provided passengers with an easy-to-use, useful and enjoyable experience. We also needed to create a useful tool for travelers, which are primarily very busy frequent flyer and business travelers–all within an advertising ecosystem that was so unique that it would help us stand out from and compete with larger media industry networks.

And this all had to be done within the physical limitations of an underwater tunnel, which required us to design a system that would control energy consumption and heat production.

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Installs Place-Based Advertising SystemSOLUTIONS
The technology at BBTCA is being used to increase travelers’ productivity, economize space and enhance the passenger journey via wayfinding, passenger tracking, flight information delivery, flow management, screen to-screen content movement, entertainment and interactivity.

Displays are placed to capitalize on traffic patterns and dwell time at the airport and are timed so that marketers can tell their brand story in sync with passenger flow. Interactive displays encourage deeper engagement, and beacon and tracking technology can measure the efficacy of various features, as well as content downloads to passengers’ devices. We worked with Gridcast to design a unique human-scale solution that also met all power and HVAC requirements.

With the app, users can track and receive alerts about flight changes and updates and can enjoy articles related to their interests and destinations via the app’s digital magazine. Users are offered enhanced free Wi-Fi, and the app is supported by a responsive website.

Since the tunnel has only been open since August, and the app launched just this September, it’s too early to release results or accurately measure the impact of the system. That said, after a few months in market, we already have repeat bookings from several of our launch advertisers who plan to increase their presence at the airport, and additional clients have added Billy Bishop to their upcoming planning cycles, all of which can only be seen as a good indication of early success.

BLACK was nominated for a DSE 2016 APEX Award in the Transportation category. Partners on the project included Gridcast and Dot 2 Dot Communications.

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