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Mon, Apr 24, 2006

Your Message Here: Ad Agency Unveils Aerial Billboards

Wraps Ads Around Planes

Given that US airlines are currently seeking additional revenue from nearly any source imaginable, perhaps it was inevitable that soon six commercial airliners operated by Allegiant Air will be wrapped in advertising messages. InterAir Media, the company that came up with the (Innovative? Outrageous?) program, unveiled the first such aircraft at the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport on Monday.

"Advertisers are looking high and low for new media to extend the reach of their messages," said InterAir Media CEO Drew Stoddard from his Miami Beach office. "By wrapping planes with logos or messages, we can help them reach to the sky to communicate with customers, literally."

After several years of working in the traditional advertising industry, Stoddard launched InterAir Media to serve clients demanding out-of-the-box communication approaches. He first approached Allegiant Air with the idea in the summer of 2005 -- and it didn't take long for the airline to recognize an easy source of revenue.

With a commitment from Allegiant in hand, Stoddard then began contacting companies that would likely benefit from the new advertisements, which InterAir Media estimates can provide exposure to an audience of more than 750,000 per quarter by advertising on a single wrapped airplane.

Stoddard soon got his first bite -- from online casino BoDog.com.

"This in-air branding allows us to target a specific demographic while continuing to expand the presence of our brand throughout the continental United States," said Calvin Ayre, Founder and CEO of BoDog.com.

"There is so much message clutter on television, in print, even on the Internet these days," Stoddard added. "Our partnership with the airline enables us to help an advertiser take its message to a captive audience while also helping the airline secure an additional revenue stream. Additionally, we are not painting the planes per se, rather using a more efficient and cost effective technology - a decal which allows quicker turnaround for both the advertiser and airline."

Artists are putting final touches on the materials necessary for the initial ad wrap featuring BoDog.com. The branded aircrafts will fly between Las Vegas and 32 other US destinations.

When not in flight, the planes will be highly visible for passengers arriving to and departing from the airport.

"In today's media environment, consumers are gaining considerable control over their media and are opting out of receiving ad messages," said Billy Stubbs, creative director for Foote, Cone and Belding in New York. "InterAir Media is providing a new medium where advertisers are guaranteed a connection with consumers.

"It's going to be hard to miss such a large message brandished on the side of an airplane," Stoddard said.

FMI: www.interairmedia.com, www.allegiantair.com

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