There IS A Free Lunch -- Inflight, Courtesy of Our Sponsor

Gauging the amount of advertising a person can take often depends on the degree of exposure and whether the consumer receives an incentive in return. Personally, I'd rather arrive at a movie late to avoid sitting through a handful of ads prior to previews.

But let's say I'm taking a short flight and I'm offered a free lunch or snack that comes in a sponsored-covered box. Show me the advertising!

Air Advertainment launched its "free snack/lunch program" in May on Horizon Air flight 2631 from Seattle to Portland.

Boxes are customizable by size and contents; the inaugural box contained Stacy's Pita Chips and Hershey's chocolate, among other treats. And it's one thing you can cross off your "things airlines are charging me for that used to be free" list -- because the airlines are getting paid elsewhere.

Roughly 25,000 boxes were distributed to Horizon Air over a 20-day period.

Creative Labs was the first sponsor to advertise using this format. The company promoted a Facebook contest to name its Vado HD third-generation video camera.

The box featured images of the latest video camera, along with a nametag that was partially filled out. Copy encouraged passengers to text, email or submit a name via branded Web site for a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree.

"Air Advertainment created the entire campaign for Creative Labs," said Ryan Matway, president of Air Advertainment. "We produced the creative, developed the cross-channel marketing plan, developed the Facebook contest and tracked the results utilizing our patent pending AirBrandTrax system."

The campaigns are presently running on West Coast airlines, with domestic and international campaigns to follow.

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