Delta Loves iPad and Google Gives Delta Free WiFi
Something The VAR Guy couldn’t help but notice was the free WiFi on his flight to Huntsville for ADTRAN Connect 2010. See, it wasn’t just free from Delta, it was free from Google. What’s more, the entire gate was filled with Delta-supplied iPads. Sweet. So what was the deal and what are the implications? Digital signage VARs might have a new platform…
Here’s how it works at Delta Gate 15 at JFK: Traveler takes a seat at one of the many (at least 100) iPad-equipped seats, where he or she can order a meal from one of the in-airport restaurants using the Cafe application (and the meal is delivered to the traveler). Traveler can also browse the web while waiting. The iPad is locked down so the background and settings can’t be changed, but there are a few apps to play with, like Google Earth, USA Today and checkers. (Even The VAR Guy knows how to play that game.)
Picture it — digital signage VARs can sell ad space on the iPad or pitch it as a platform for multimedia ads. They could sell the background itself (such as advertising for the cafe at the airport), or sell the landing home page in Safari. VARs could even sell an entire app as an ad. And let’s not forget iAds inside existing apps. Delta’s use of the technology is proof that digital signage VARs should be looking at the iPad as a digital sign, and not just a tablet.
And Google? The Wifi on the flight was provided by a pay service called “GoGo Inflight Internet” but Google is footing the bill until Jan. 2, 2011. But that’s not what makes this special; it was how the in-flight safety video was shown. Suddenly, the airplane screen became a Windows desktop with the Google Chrome icon in plain sight. A disembodied mouse user clicked on Chrome, loaded up the browser and typed “Delta Flight Safety Video” into the search bar. A YouTube video link appeared as the top hit, which the clicked, selected ‘full screen’ then ‘play.’ The the video finished, the user quit Google chrome and came back to the Windows desktop.
Brilliant marketing, Google. Brilliant.
Maybe the channel should take notice: Sponsor some free Wifi and get yourself some nifty advertising.