Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky Intl. Airport

NEC's attention-grabbing digital signage network has helped inform, direct and entertain more than 16 million travelers each year much more effectively than the static signage used previously.

Quick Facts
  • Facility: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
  • Location: Hebron, Kentucky
  • Challenge: Transferring static advertising properties to innovative digital signage in key areas throughout the airport
  • Solution: Roughly 50 46” NEC MultiSync LCD4620s
  • Date: Fall 2007

Every year, millions of people travel through the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), creating a captive audience in need of services, entertainment and direction. Corey Airport Services, the airport’s advertising concessionaire, realized that the facility’s traditional static signage was losing its effectiveness, and they needed a better way to reach visitors in crucial areas of the two-million-square-foot facility.

CVG occupies more than 7000 acres and handles more than 16 million travelers annually. The airport has two active terminals and three concourses, four runways and operates an average of 425 flights daily. It is currently ranked #1 in the U.S. for on-time arrivals, and the International Air Transportation Association has named it the #1 airport in the U.S. and #10 in the world.

The Challenge

The challenge for CVG lay in transferring the airport’s traditional static signage to innovative digital signage displayed through large LCD video wall clusters. While posters may pose less of a hassle to construct, they lack the pizzazz and flair necessary to attract passing travelers and convey a message. Not only did stationary advertisements come across as uninteresting, they were difficult to update, which is essential in such a time-sensitive atmosphere. Corey Airport Services needed the flexibility to update information more quickly, not only for advertising usage, but in cases of emergency.

Important areas where signage would have high visibility and recognition needed to be determined. The transportation mall, where two underground trains connect concourses to terminals, became a key area for development. Other important areas of interest for new digital signage were airline gate hold rooms and escalator passages. After determining the installation areas, the final challenge of suspending several large LCD clusters presented itself to planners. Installing the signage 30 feet above long escalators would be difficult, but Corey Airport Services representatives and Alpine Systems technicians knew working with NEC would make the airport more engaging and give CVG a signage makeover.

Corey Airport Services has been in the airport advertising business since 2001 and is a division of U.S. Enterprises, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta. For the past 25 years, U.S. Enterprises, Inc. has been engaged in the operation and management of large-scale advertising display programs. The company has served thousands of advertisers, utilizing all types of out-of-home displays, including airport and stadium advertising, mobile billboards, broadcast media and interstate/highway billboards.

Alpine Systems, the integrator of this digital signage project, provides public information display systems for transportation, airport, conference, parking and point-of-sale applications. The company excels in providing custom software solutions with exceptional user interfaces.

The Solution

Nearly 50 of NEC’s 46" MultiSync LCD4620 displays were used to create video wall configurations in seven key areas of the airport, including airline gate hold rooms, escalator passages and the transportation mall. Display clusters include two 3x5 arrangements, four 2x2 arrangements and a single 57" display in a high passenger traffic area. When put together, the displays provide advertisers a lot of space with which to work.

Not only has the digital signage created new advertising opportunities, it has allowed for new and engaging city welcome messages, public address announcements and urgent emergency messages, all of which were impossible with static signage. Corey Airport Services will soon have the flexibility to change and update content with the click of a mouse, creating opportunities for month-long features.

"Corey Airport Services brought in some innovative ideas on how we could improve the airport’s advertising revenue," said Dave Kellerman, retail manager for the airport. "The versatility of NEC’s LCD displays lets advertisers segment their ads and choose when and where they want their ads to run. The images look incredible, and we’ve been thrilled with the performance so far."

"We think these displays raise the bar in terms of what airport advertisers can do with their creative message," said Steve Moody of Corey Airport Services. "The NEC LCD4620 displays are commercial-grade and made specifically for digital signage purposes and displaying high-quality graphic design, so advertisers can now create dynamic animations that have a greater impact on the traveling public."

The first three advertisers to take advantage of the new setup are Christ Hospital, University of Cincinnati and Rusty McClure, co-author of the best-selling book Crosley. The new signage has allowed Christ Hospital to inform travelers of its eight-year run as one of "America’s Best Hospitals" by U.S. News & World Report. The displays have allowed McClure to target the holiday season for his advertising, and he will be utilizing digital signage to let passengers know his book is available for sale at select news, gift and book store locations throughout the airport.

"Businesses advertising with us are now able to make more detailed ads and make decisions that will drive their revenue, which in turn is beneficial for CVG," said Kellerman. "The decision to add digital signage has been valuable for the airport’s business, and the use of video walls brings something unique to our spaces while maintaining a constructive purpose."