I am a passionate guy with a whole slew of interests.
Some of the things I am most passionate about are movies, books, TV, marketing, and my family but the thing I am most passionate about is customer engagement (and ways to get people to love your brand).
I have spent some time in Airports the last few days and I came to the conclusion that airport waiting areas (or gates) are possibly the most boring place in the world. Sure you can surf the interweb (if you want to pay for it) or watch the muted TV set tuned to Headline News or even survey the people around you and figure out (in your head) who you would have to beat up to prove your domination and leadership should you choose to start a new civilization with only the people in your gate area.
That being said I think these areas are probably the absolute best areas to get people to embrace the brand of whatever airline you are flying on because like people in prison….they can’t go anywhere……so sonce they are a captive audience why not provide the customers with a super cool experience so they will feel so good about the airline they will forget that the level of service in the air my not live up to much.
So how should/could they do this?
Each “gate” area should be equipped with ginormous video walls and feature different interactive games and events in different locations or just different gates. Some of the events could be Jeopardy Tournaments with all the travelers playing against each other, or other fun trivia style games that many people can play at once.
Even better then the game show idea (am more profitable for everyone involved) is using these walls to introduce people to MMORPG games and/or just video games in general. This would be sponsored by a game manufacturer like Playstation 3 or even a game like Halo 3 or perhaps something less violent….who knows.
I realize these ideas will require people to have controllers and this is easy to equip the seat with but if this idea takes off then cell phone companies like RIM or Palm Treo can add these controls right to people’s cell phones and then “road warriors” can get right in on the fun as soon as they hit the gate area.
…..and my absolute favorite idea using this space is to create a “Real World” game show set in this space and let travelers participate in a real world game of the Family Feud….because people love getting kissed by a Richard Dawson impersonator or whatever other game show who wants to pay the airline companies the opportunity to promote their brand while developing a new fun feeling of engagement for the customers of the airline.
Sure this would smell of commercialism and people would see it for what it is BUT if you give people a solution to boredom and add a sprinkle of fun at the same time I know people would forget they were being advertised to and look at it as an added value of flying with [insert name of forward thinking airline here].
Sure this idea is “out there” but the best ones always are!