WANT A CAPTIVE audience? Try airline passengers, strapped into their seats at 32,000 feet.
Reno, NV-based DelysAir, a manufacturer and distributor of gourmet snacks, combines its treats with business-related promotional materials in heat-sealed cellophane packages called InflitePaks. The packs are hand-delivered by flight attendants to passengers with their beverage.
DelysAir president Elisabeth Galvin says, “When you send something through the mail, people may not even open the envelope. But for sure we know people open the package to get to the snack.”
Last year DelysAir distributed 14 million InflitePaks to passengers on 11 national and regional airlines, including United, American, Sky West and Reno Air, during flights that included a meal. The company started the program in June 1995 and delivered 400,000 pieces that year.
Last month, America Online, Discover and Pitney Bowes ran a joint promotion targeting 1 million passengers taking ASA/Delta Connection flights. AOL promoted a CD with 100 free hours of online service, Discover slipped a brochure with a credit card application into the pack and Pitney Bowes’ business reply card featured a free 90-day trial of its Personal Post Office.
Also, Motorola has packaged its “smallest, lightest” cellular phone with a coupon good toward free arm bands, purse packs or a necklace to carry the phone on and Buick has promoted its Regal sedan on United Airlines.
The packs cost advertisers 20 to 25 cents apiece, depending on volume, and can include up to five inserts totaling 2.5 ounces. Promotions target higher income, business and frequent travelers. Clients have reported response rates from .5% to 12%, Galvin says. The minimum order is 100,000 packs on small airlines.
Marketers can even target specific destinations, according to Galvin. Passengers headed to a conference or trade show on a particular airline may receive an announcement about a product to be introduced at the conference or maps directing them to a specific booth at the show.
DelysAir imprints the advertiser’s logo on the InflitePaks, wraps the snack and promotional materials together and distributes packs free to the airlines. Galvin sells the promotional ride-along space to B-to-B advertisers who design and supply the creative, but has plans to tap the consumer market as well.
What happens in the event of a major snowstorm? The packs take off when the flights do. “We guarantee that the pack will make it into the hands of the passengers,” Galvin says.