“EBE” may sound like an affliction that should come with the customary side effect warnings that cause most of us to reach for the remote control but “extending the brand experience” seems to be on almost every corporate marketer’s agenda. You can’t read Ad Age, Mediapost, etc without a story on how Brand X has forged a new relationship with (at-times) unlikely partners in order to cast their brand attributes into the extended real world. Whether strategies include Avatars, mobile device screens, taxi tops, billboards, flash mobs, pizza box tops or even carving your logo into a Kansas cornfield……much has been done for brands to move past signage on showroom floors for the brick and mortar group and the banner ads for those working in cyberspace.

Our work has shown, and we truly believe, there is significant value for a brand that can effectively deliver an unexpected and enhanced experience through “surprise and delight” types of activities. Over the last 14 years, we have had the good fortune to work with a group of “forward thinking” airport management teams and our strategic partner Clear Channel Airports to launch sponsorship programs with some of the world’s greatest brands. If you take a deep breath and really look around the next time you are in an airport, I think you will agree they are generally nice places to be (unless Joe Biden calls your airport “third world”). No disrespect intended to all my friends and former co-workers at American Airlines but it isn’t the airports that are charging increased baggage fees and limiting legroom….in fact most airports provide an environment ripe for brands to make a significant and positive impact on millions of people 365 days a year.

Through our newly created AMI blog, we look forward to contributing ideas on how smart brands will further integrate into daily life experiences, hopefully in ways that will put smiles on people’s faces. We are proud of our team’s work and will occasionally highlight examples of collaboration with brands like Google, Pepsi, Lexus, Best Buy, and others … that have enhanced experiences inside some of the busiest airports in the country. We won’t be perfect (I have a family at home the reminds me of that every day) but we will strive to think differently about experiences we have all grown accustomed to as being “just the way it is”.