As if the security checkpoints at our airports weren’t annoying enough, now we have to look at mediocre advertising. It seems that the TSA will now allow the placement of ads in the bottom of the bins that pass through the X-ray machine. I find this development dubious on two fronts, one personal and one professional.
Personally, I really don’t like the thought of the TSA pimping themselves out like this. It seems to cheapen the whole security process. “Take off your shoes and place them in the bin, brought to you by Coca-Cola.” It just doesn’t feel right.
Professionally, it just doesn’t feel like a great place for and advertisement. Your exposure to the ad is momentary. They’re stacked up. Your remove your bin from the stack. You catch a gimpse of the advertisement before you dump your shoes, laptop, jacket, etc. You put it into the machine. Maybe, just maybe, you see the ad again as you take your crap out of the bin. All told, it’s limited exposure to the message in a moment where all you’re thinking about is getting the hell out of there.
Granted, I’m sure there are some interesting creative possibilities with the media. Some agency, somewhere, will come up with something cool and funny and relavent. This may lead to the the worst case scenario…people standing around reading the ad when they should be taking off their shoes, removing the change from their pockets and generally just trying to get though security as quickly as possible. It could, in some small way, make the security process more annoying.
At the end of the day, this is probably not a big deal. I mean, it doesn’t seem to actually compromise national security, it just cheapens it. It’s just more evidence of the desperate state of advertising, advertisers and media companies (which the TSA now becomes). This is not bold, confident advertising. This is an attempt to make a dime with little or no regard for the consumer, their intelligence, or for that matter their sense of security.