Airline Overhead Bin Advertising Coming to An Airplane Near You


There really is no end to the places advertising hasn't, but in the future, could appear. Writing on Ironic Sans, David, while admitting it's not a good idea but acknowledging the financial benefits it could bring to a struggling industry, advocates the inevitable consideration of airplane storage bins as an advertising medium. Noting the inside of a plane is one of the last remaining ad-free zones, David claims the ad revenue might lead to the return of good food on airplanes, reduced ticket fares and something to stare at rather than the passenger across the aisle. It's going to happen. There's already tray table ads.

by Steve Hall    Mar-23-06   Click to Comment   
Topic: Inflight   

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To Ironic Sans' point, it would be of financial benefit to the airline industry. However, I disagree on the point that it's a bad idea. I see adverts on the subway and bus all the time. Granted, it adds to the visual clutter. But I think about when I fly, and I don't pay attention to the overhead bins anyway, and will hardly notice the ads (I'd rather read or look out the window).

Posted by: Chas on March 23, 2006 1:38 PM

I totally disagree with Chas. While this might be beneficial to the airlines (and, possibly, even to me as a flier in the end) I would definitely notice the bins if they were plastered with ads. I find airplanes bordering on claustrophobic as it is, so I welcome the sterile look of the walls, bins, ceiling, etc.

Also, Dr. Zizmor staring at me for 15 minutes on a crowded, sweaty, summer train is simply annoying. On a cross-country flight? I think I'd go postal.

Posted by: Chiba on March 23, 2006 2:01 PM

If it's a Calvin Klein ad with semi-nekkid wimmin, or a Soma ad, I'm OK wid it. But if I see a feminine deordorant ad or a panty liner ad,

Posted by: snake on March 23, 2006 2:35 PM

8+ hours with a hot chick plastered on the storage bin, OK. But there's not much else I'd be OK with. Luckily I bring magazines and iPod along, so it should be easy to ignore the stuff I don't want to see.

And airplane cabins have not been ad free for quite a while. What about the inflight video, and the magazine, and the duty free junk?

Posted by: Pat Smith on March 23, 2006 2:41 PM

So it's like riding the subway for a long time. It's hardly any more comfortable than that already. I think the real laugh is the comment about potential flow-through benefits to us passengers. Almost every airline is so screwed financially that any incremental revenue is simply going to go to reducing, say, a $480m loss to a $475m loss.

Posted by: Peter Heywood on March 23, 2006 2:50 PM

I read that RyanAir (the Southwest of Europe) is doing advertising like this already. In fact, it is responsible for a significant portion of their revenue.

I say go ahead and plaster ads all over the inside and outside of the plane, just as long as ticket prices go down!

Posted by: Bryant Aponte on March 23, 2006 2:53 PM

If they were on the inside of the doors, ok.

But to stare at advertising for a full flight? I would end up hating the advertiser. Subways and trains are one thing (quick on and off), but come on...

Posted by: _AS on March 23, 2006 3:48 PM

The fact is, no matter what anyone says here, all people want is a cheap flight. That's why time and time again, airlines fail at the in-between upgrades like "economy-plus." So say what you want, if you are looking for flights, let's say AA has flight to London that they are advertising "ad free" for $400 but BA has a flight that is covered in ads for $300. Ask yourself - which are you booking? T

Posted by: dn on March 23, 2006 4:54 PM

Agreed. but check out cinema advertising. no savings to the consumer there, right? if it made the flights cheaper, fine. but you know that wont happen.

Posted by: _AS on March 23, 2006 5:10 PM

Actually, Vanguard Airlines, a now defunct no-frills Kansas City based airline was doing this 5 or so years ago. There were press releases at the time & they were said to be the first to have this type of advertising. There are pretty strict FAA regulations about the color of the overhead bins (I guess for safety/evacuation reasons) so the ads were very subtle, the lettering was only a shade different than the color of the bins so it was like a 2-tone tan add. Interesting though that this idea is coming back.

Posted by: Clay on March 24, 2006 12:34 AM

I wonder if the FAA will police this too strongly these days. I hope it will, just to make the ad design question challenging for this medium—and we’ll see the results covered here. Overall, I don’t think this is a bad idea, only for the fact that those overhead bins are usually an ugly shade of off-white—like computers 15 years ago!

Posted by: Jack Yan on March 26, 2006 6:25 AM

I think Dramamine was the first in-flight advertiser... years ago they put a message on the inside of the barf bag...

Posted by: Bob on March 28, 2006 11:01 AM

Wow, love the idea of dramamine advertising on the barf bag- now that's the stuff dreams are made of

Posted by: Ryan on November 2, 2006 1:31 PM

Wow, love the idea of dramamine advertising on the barf bag- now that's the stuff dreams are made of

Posted by: Ryan on November 2, 2006 1:31 PM