San Francisco (SFO) Airport Advertising

San Francisco Airport Advertising

As the largest airport in the San Francisco Bay Area and the second most used in all of California, San Francisco International offers some excellent marketing opportunities. This airport was recognized by Outside Magazine as the Best Airport in 2014 and offers some unique opportunities to travelers. SFO provides yoga studios in two terminals, as well as an accredited museum where travelers can learn and stay occupied at the same time.

Brands have a number of options when it comes to San Francisco airport advertising. With four terminals, including one international terminal, and seven concourses, there are plenty of opportunities for large format and experiential ads, as well as digital marketing options. Since the airport is so large, there are hundreds of people waiting at any given time, making SFO advertising extremely effective.

SFO is home to Virgin America’s headquarters and is the only United Airlines maintenance hub, as well as being the main focus city for Alaska Airlines. The number of frequent travelers exposed to marketing in the various concourses means it’s well worth the investment for marketers.

San Francisco Bay Area is a technology and finance industry hub with several Fortune 500 companies based there including Oracle, Cisco, Intel, Google, Apple, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.

SFO Airport Travelers Profile

2014 total passengers: 47,114,631
Avg. monthly passengers: 3,926,219
% Domestic travelers: 78%
% International travelers: 22%
% Business passengers: 35%
Total number of terminals: 4

Sources: Airports Council Informational 2014, Scarborough 2015,

Who Advertises in Airports?

  • Accenture
  • Adidas
  • Advil
  • American Airlines
  • American Express
  • Apple
  • Arizona State University
  • Audi
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Bacardi
  • Bank of America
  • Barracuda Networks
  • Bethany College
  • Blackberry
  • Bose
  • CNN
  • Coach
  • Credit Suisse
  • Cylance
  • Diageo
  • Expedia
  • Fly Smart
  • Focus Feature
  • Ford
  • FX Networks
  • GE
  • Google
  • HSBC
  • IBM
  • Identity Guard
  • Infor
  • InsideSales
  • Intel
  • JetBlue
  • L'Oreal
  • Lifelock
  • Lincoln
  • Lyft
  • Marriott
  • Mastercard
  • Mini
  • Motel6
  • National
  • Nationwide
  • Nike
  • Oracle
  • Pepperdine University
  • Pimco
  • Rackspace
  • RBS
  • Red Bull
  • Reebok
  • Rolex
  • Salesforce
  • Samsung
  • SAP
  • SeaWorld
  • SentinelOne
  • Showtime
  • SiemensS
  • Sky
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Sprint
  • Subaru
  • T-Mobile
  • TAG
  • The WJ
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Toyota
  • Tumi
  • U.S. Bank
  • Uber
  • UCLA
  • Undertone
  • United Airlines
  • Universal Pictures
  • UrgentRX
  • USC
  • Verizon
  • Visa
  • Visit Las Vegas
  • Warner Brothers
  • Wells Fargo
  • Western Union
  • Zappos
  • Zurich

Baggage Claim Area

SFO Airport Baggage Claim Area Advertising

Dioramas, Spectaculars, Tension Fabric Display packages are available in the baggage areas at SFO Airport.

  • Type: Static
  • Size: Varies
  • Share of Voice: 100%
  • Format: Static
  • Production Estimate: $300-$1,500
  • Advertisers: Prudential, Verizon, TheParking Spot, Oracle, and many more.

Overhead Banners

SFO Airport Overhead Banner Advertising

Capture 100% share of voice and guaranteed engagement! SFO Airport offers multiple locations with high-impact overhead banner displays.

  • Type: Tension Fabric Displays
  • Size: Varies
  • Share of Voice: 100%
  • Production Estimate: $1,000 - $3,500
  • Advertisers: GMC, Lincoln, Universal Pictures, Zoho CRM, and more.

The Business Network & Club Lounges

The SFO Airport Business Network Club Lounges

This impactful network at San Francisco Airport is specifically targeted to deliver advertisers an elusive audience of airport travelers: Reach the most exclusive business and luxury leisure travelers where no one else can. Airport executive club lounges represent an exclusive opportunity for delivering tailored marketing messages to a valuable and premium travelers.

  • Type: Vertical, Digital, Exhibit, Banners and Product Placements.
  • Size: Varies
  • Share of Voice: 100% on Static. :10 Seconds out of :60 seconds loop
  • Format: Static and full motion.
  • Production Estimate: Varies
  • Advertisers: Sony, Bose, Grey Goose, Jaguar, Lexus, and many more.

Digital Spectaculars

SFO Airport Digital Spectacular Advertising

Digital Spectaculars are intentionally located in the most densely populated areas of San Francisco Airport – in the heart of retail shopping and dining concourses, or in main airport arteries – strategically positioned for prime viewing as travelers navigate their way through terminals and arrivals areas.

  • Type: Large Format Digital LCD Screens
  • Size: Varies
  • Share of Voice: :10 Seconds out of :60 seconds loop
  • Format: Static and full motion
  • Production Estimate: $0
  • Advertisers: Accenture, Microsoft, SanDisk, Intel, Oracle, and many more.


SFO Airport Dioramas Advertising

Sleek, bright and sized right, these beautiful signs showcase your brand to millions every month. Located on walls, in SFO concourses, arrival and public areas, and at key intersections of the airport, these signs bring your message to life.

  • Type: Static
  • Target: Baggage, Concourse, Terminal Connectors, and Ticketing.
  • Share of Voice: 100%
  • Production Estimate: $300-$600
  • Advertisers: University of Texas, Samsung, Enterprise, Expedia, and more.


SFO Airport Mini-Spectacular Advertising

A large-scale variation of a classic advertising format, backlit spectaculars deliver great passenger reach and impact. Mini-Spectaculars are strategically placed in main San Francisco airport arteries to catch traveler's eyes while they navigate to concourses and arrival areas.

  • Type: Static
  • Target: Baggage, Concourse, Terminal Connectors, and Ticketing.
  • Formats: 5'h x 20'w, 4'h x 10'w, 7'h x 11'w, 5'h x 15'w, and 6'h x 6'w
  • Share of Voice: 100%
  • Production Estimate: $400-$1,000
  • Advertisers: Dell, CA Technologies, Oracle and more.

Security Tray Bins

SFO Airport TSA Security Tray Bins

Since all passengers must go through security check points, these messages cannot be avoided and therefore guarantee 100% departing passenger visibility. Brand recognition and recall are much more likely when airport advertising serves a practical purpose and is helpful to passengers.

  • Type: TSA Security Line Media
  • Size: Fixed
  • Share of Voice: 100%
  • Target by: Terminal
  • Format: Static
  • Advertisers: Arizona State University, Honda, Reebok, Zappos and more.


SFO Airport Spectaculars

Reach your target audience in a big way with Spectaculars! Your message gets noticed as passengers walk to baggage claim, restaurants, shopping or their gate. Spectaculars are also located in great targeted locations like the Rental Car Facility and the Taxi line at the San Francisco Airport.

  • Type: Static
  • Target: Baggage, Concourse, Terminal Connectors, and Ticketing.
  • Formats: 5'h x 20'w, 4'h x 10'w, 7'h x 11'w, 5'h x 15'w, and 6'h x 6'w
  • Share of Voice: 100%
  • Production Estimate: $500 - $1,200
  • Advertisers: Dell, CA Technologies, Oracle and more.

Wall Wraps

SFO Airport Wall Wrap Advertising

Wall and window wraps deliver big impact to travelers and are strategically located in high traffic locations. They provide a “can’t miss” message for advertisers at SFO. Both large and small, wraps are a great option to show-off your brand or offer.

  • Type: Static
  • Size: Varies
  • Share of Voice: 100%
  • Production Estimate: $2,000 - $7,000
  • Advertisers: Mail Chimp, HSBC, Sophos, Infor, Undertone, and more.

Did You Know?

Airport advertising is the only medium forecast to double its audience within the next 20 years.

The airport arena creates a positive pre-disposition toward brand communications.

Passengers believe advertising belongs within an airport.

Advertising in airports bestows a brand with international status, prestige and power.

Passengers express a desire for greater engagement with airport advertising.

Airport advertising is the only medium able to deliver a powerful and memorable universal brand experience across the globe.

SFO Airport Upgrades Spell Good News for Airport Advertising

Posted: June 2, 2017

San Francisco airport is changing things up this year and that’s good news for anyone interested in SFO advertising. In addition to making interior improvements, the airport is eliminating the old tower to make way for an observation deck. Since the tower is obsolete, it has to go anyway and the space will be used to enhance the airport experience.

An observation deck will allow a better view from the new tower at SFO, as well as providing more value to travelers. All four SFO runways will be visible from the glass observation area, which will also include a café and several offices. It will be available to the public, even without a plane ticket, as the entrance is before security.

Once the main observation deck is completed, another rooftop lounge will be added to the in-airport Hyatt Regency. While this next lounge will not have the same view, it will likely be just as popular with plane spotters and guests of the newly built hotel.

San Diego is one of the first U.S. airports to offer a public viewing deck for plane spotters and travelers, but it is actually following in the footsteps of many other American airports that are making changes for their customers. Airports are realizing that it’s essential to cater to their travelers and provide entertainment and quality of service. These observation decks are helping with just that.

In addition to providing distractions for travelers, airports are producing more and more reasons for non-travelers to visit airports, as well. An observation deck invites anyone interested in airplanes to come and sit for a while, drink a coffee and watch planes take off and land. Airports are changing and it’s for the better.

What does the new tower mean for San Francisco airport advertising? Anyone looking to market to the hundreds of thousands of travelers passing through the airport each year will find that there is an advantage to advertising in a high level airport. Ads and marketing tools that provide a distraction from the boredom of waiting and allows potential customers to interact will be very popular. It’s fairly easy for companies to blend their marketing into the existing infrastructure and reach more customers.

The fact that there will be an entirely new space for airport advertising at San Francisco airport is another plus for companies. The area will draw more than just travelers, so ads can potentially reach many more people than just those who travel by plane.

San Francisco Airport Therapy Pig Charms Travelers

Posted: June 1, 2017

A pig doing tricks is the last thing you’d expect to see as you walk through San Francisco Airport. Advertising banners can get pretty interesting, but a real, live pig in the airport?

SFO introduced LiLou, a friendly therapy pig, to the Wag Brigade recently. The idea behind the introduction was to provide an alternative to canine greeters for those who dislike dogs. Just like the dogs in the program, LiLou went through a specialty program via the SPCA to ensure that she’s the right animal to wander the airport, looking to share love and happiness with everyone she meets.

Travelers at the SFO airport may be lucky enough to see the cute pig performing on a tiny piano or taking a bow after her concert . . . or they may have a chance to pet the joy-spreading pig. If LiLou isn’t there (she’s at the airport once a month), travelers will be greeted by one of the furrier canine members of the Wag Brigade.

What is the Wage Brigade?

Traveling can be a stressful experience and SFO airport is dedicated to easing that stress. While several measures have been taken to ease the discomforts of travel, the troop of dogs and one pig is possibly one of the more popular methods used.

Animals have long been proven to help lower blood pressure and calm people down. More and more airports are adding therapy animals to their corridors to engage travelers and help them release some of that stress. There’s nothing like petting a cute pup to make your day a little brighter. While a pig may be unique, it’s not unheard of to employ less traditional therapy animals, including miniature horses and even a turkey. Dogs are the most common, however.

San Francisco airport is working tirelessly to improve the travel experience for its customers and LiLou is just one neat aspect of this.

SFO Advertising to See a Big Leap in Exposure

Posted: May 30, 2017

Now is the ideal time to look into advertising in San Francisco airport. SFO advertising is about to see a lot more eyes, thanks to some big improvements at the airport. The airport has been working hard to increase the number of flights coming and going and it’s all starting to pay off. There will be a number of new flight options coming soon to the popular Bay Area airport, thanks to both new and existing airlines boosting the number of aircraft and options flying out of the airport.

For travelers interested in flying to or from Dubai, Qatar Airways will soon be providing flights. The details are still being worked out, but with flights to Dubai becoming more and more popular, the addition of the airline will boost foot traffic throughout the San Francisco airport. Qatar Airways is also in the process of adding a new business class seat that will change the way business people fly. It hasn’t rolled out yet, but the addition of this feature could potentially bring more business class travelers through the airport.

Thomas Cook Airlines has added several new nonstop flights to Manchester, England, allowing travelers to get to England cheaper than ever. This will draw plenty of summer travelers, as the prices are very economical. Summer vacationers are more likely to go for the lower cost tickets and the pricing and nonstop flight makes SFO airport a more attractive option than many others.

A whole new summer flight schedule from Swiss International, a subsidiary of Lufthansa will also provide extra flights from SFO to Zurich. The airline is introducing new airplanes on its Zurich route, to provide upgraded service to their customers.

In addition to these new flights, Cathay Pacific will be upping its daily nonstop flights to Hong Kong from two to three flights a day. A brand new Airbus A350 jet will be used to provide the extra flight. The jet is eco-friendlier than most, with reduced emissions and recycled interiors. It’s also the first Cathay flight to include inflight WiFi, a big deal for international travelers on a 17-hour flight.

With so many new flights and airlines flying out of SFO airport, there will be a drastic increase in travelers. That means more eyes on any marketing endeavors in the airport, so advertising in San Francisco airport will offer a higher ROI than ever before. For companies looking for top exposure, now is the ideal time to create a marketing campaign to showcase in the SFO airport.


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