Prior to the introduction of products such as Chrome and Google Docs, Google tended to avoid traditional advertising methods. However, in entering more competitive markets (such as web browsers), Google sought to create market awareness in non-traditional ways. AMI recommended targeting an important demographic at the optimal point of product relevance – as travelers are accessing the internet at airports.
Google and AMI launched the first-of-its-kind free airport Wi-Fi campaign in over 50 major airports throughout the United States that ran over a 90 day period during the peak holiday travel times. At a time when few airports offered free Wi-Fi, AMI designed a sponsorship program that provided free wireless access as a holiday gift – creating strong brand value perceptions and motivating passengers to try Google’s new products and services. With AMI, Google was able to roll out an integrated experiential marketing and sponsorship program using both traditional and non-traditional advertising, audio and digital marketing, large-scale exterior and interior graphics, as well as 7-foot tall brand icons and branded Google bean bags in a handful of select markets.
Together, the participating airports represented 35% of all annual air travel in the United States, and during this time alone, nearly 100 million people passed through the airports. Passengers connected to Wi-Fi for free during the campaign, making the holiday season a little bit easier, more convenient, and overall more enjoyable. Travelers who connected to the sponsored Wi-Fi networks were encouraged to donate to suggested non-profits, which raised over $250,000 – and with Google’s matching donation, these charities received over $500,000 in total.
In addition, Google’s successful campaign was widely recognized in over 450 articles, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, and CNN Money.