The American Airlines terminal at JFK has made lemonade from lemons by transforming the lengthy march from security to their gates: they’ve made it an brand experience, and Microsoft has done a good job exploiting this for their Office2007.com launch. Some of the mostly static elements were clearly informed by digital marketing best practices.
As you head from security to the gates at American Airlines @ JFK you must trek 2 minutes or so past the usual suspects of retail merchants, shoe shines and personal facilities. Microsoft got it, and decided to intercept the thousands of biz travelers navigating the gauntlet for Office2007.
Heading down the escalator you’re met with “tiles” that progress the message with each image in descending order. They proclaim the “New Day” concept while an upbeat, new age acoustic audio soundtrack loops pleasantly in the background. For those of us in the digital channel, this experience is the equivalent of delivering synchronized banners or surround-session messaging that evolves with each exposure.
You can’t escape the experience by takng the elevator instead of escalator. Above the elevator is another Day 1 ad in full glory. The campaign shows business people in major international destinations looking confident, happy and engaged. They’re optimistic, perhaps because they’re not worried about making their flight.
The walkways feed mostly static images that act video like through basic image movement such as pans and zooms. They apply some digital marketing skillz by having one simple animation in each of the images cycling through–butterflies and birds mostly. More happy and optimistic images.
The text cells animate with a simple medial flip, as though it was one of those 80s digital alarm clocks like the one that started every “Groundhog Day” for Bill Murray. And it’s paid off with the “Day 1” frame.
So what’s working and what isn’t? I stopped at the shoeshine, Emelio, to hear what he observed. Emelio informed me that the displays just went up two weeks ago. He likes the music, which is nice. When you’ve got a captured audience, you don’t have to “shout” with audio. Of the four kiosks across from him and beyond the immersion corridor, he said no one uses them. They may stop and look rarely, but not using the computer. MS and its agency could save a few bucks by cutting them from the next program.
Overall, it merited the post because it delivered a sixty-second experience in a restrained but noticeable way. Mini did a good job with Crispin Porter and now Butler Shine in these kind of product/brand installations. Unlike the Mini work, this Microsoft effort is more of a media innovation than a creative one that causes reappraisal and delight. There was little about the experience that leveraged and insight for/about me. It was more about introducing and broadcasting a message. On the positive side for the agency, it had a lot of moving pieces that coordinated well; you can see the effort. I also think it effectively reached their business class target. And the shoeshine guy liked the music, so it’s got that going for it. BTW, you can click on any image to view the larger version.
Have you seen any good environment immersion experiences like this?