Toronto Port Authority Partners with BLACK to Deliver Next-Generation Digital Advertising Experience at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

Smartphone App and Digital Screens in Passenger Atrium and Tunnel Provide Targeted Communications to Complement Travel Experience and Drive Engagement

TORONTO, Aug. 11, 2014 /CNW/ - The Toronto Port Authority, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (BBTCA), today announced that it will partner with Toronto advertising company BLACK to develop a digital experience for travellers using the airport. The experience will involve the development of a unique mobile-optimized app that will serve as a concierge to deliver customized content and information that reflects the unique desires and demands of travellers. The experience will also extend beyond the personal screen to larger digital screens that will be installed throughout the mainland passenger atrium, pedestrian tunnel, and island-side atrium, all of which will be completed in early 2015. 

"This digital experience is being designed to create a narrative journey for travellers that will extend from home or hotel to the airport curb, gate, and beyond to their ultimate destination," said Dean Black, President and CEO, BLACK. "Screens will be situated along the journey through the airport and a custom-designed app will enable travellers to engage and interact with the digital content. Advertisers and content creators will be able to target information and messages that are relevant to the individual traveller and pertinent to the journey they are taking ensuring greater levels of retention and awareness."

State-of-the-art digital LED and LCD screens will be installed on both exterior and interior spaces throughout the mainland passenger atrium and along the path to the elevators that bring passengers down into the tunnel that links to the island-side atrium. Eight 30'x 3' screens will be installed along the tunnel walls, enabling travellers who are walking along the pathway or standing on the moving sidewalks to view and engage with the screens as they make the four-minute journey under the Western Gap to the island-side atrium. Travellers will exit the tunnel via escalators and emerge at ground-level where they will see and interact with additional screens.

Travellers to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport will be encouraged to download the free BBTCA app which will offer concierge-type services and provide curated content that they have indicated is important to them and which will assist with their travel. This content will include traffic, weather, way-finding, estimated wait times at various points in the airport, travel suggestions, restaurant recommendations and flight information. 

The smartphone app will also integrate with screens around the airport to display information and sponsored content to travellers. The screens will use several technologies to determine passenger proximity to screens and dynamic technology will display customized content.

The digital assets will be owned by the Toronto Port Authority, with BLACK overseeing content creation, advertising sales and interactive planning. The app will be developed by BLACK and Toronto Port Authority will own the rights to usage and licensing.

"This initiative will provide the opportunity to bring a new level of innovation to the airport that will have a direct and positive influence on the traveller experience," said Geoffrey Wilson, President and CEO, Toronto Port Authority. "Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is an important asset to this city and has been embraced by travellers because it offers a convenient, efficient and friendly approach to travel. The opening of the tunnel will make travel even easier at the airport and the digital experience that will accompany the traveller on their journey will add value and drive engagement by offering relevant information, tools and services. The TPA is committed to providing a world-class travel experience at BBTCA and this digital experience will help us to do that by better understanding our travellers and providing information, services and content that they want to make their travel experience the best it can be."

"The Toronto Port Authority does not receive any form of government funding and is mandated to be financially self-sustaining," continued Wilson "It is important that we identify opportunities to generate revenue that will finance our ongoing operations, fund improvements to the airport, and invest back into the community. Initiatives such as this one enable us to do just that."

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (BBTCA) welcomes approximately 2.3 million passengers per year, making it the ninth busiest airport in Canada and the seventh busiest Canadian airport serving the United States. The airport, which serves 18 destinations in Canada and the United States and hosts two major and award-winning commercial air carriers in Porter Airlines and Air Canada, has gained an excellent reputation throughout the travelling community for its superior customer service, fast check-in times, first-class lounge experience and convenient location close to Toronto's downtown core. BBTCA was named as one of the world's best airports in the 2013 Skytrax World Airport Awards (under 5 million passengers category).

About the Toronto Port Authority (www.torontoport.com)
For more than 100 years the Toronto Port Authority has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. The Toronto Port Authority owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomes more than two million passengers each year, the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada's largest freshwater marinas, and Terminals 51 and 52, which provide transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. The Toronto Port Authority is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $5.6 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto's waterfront and beyond. TPA operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and Letters Patent and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government.

About BLACK (www.black-co.com)
Established in 1992, BLACK is a Canadian-owned private company which is innovating place-based media through the integration of Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) and mobile applications. BLACK uses a user-centric approach to enhancing physical and digital environments to create uniquely effective customer and advertising experiences. Along with its digital arm, BLACKdigital Inc., it serves a broad base of Canadian and US clients in the media, financial, business-to-business and pharmaceutical sectors. BLACK has provided media sales, consulting, digital, mobile, marketing and advertising services to such companies as The Globe and Mail, Discovery Channel (US), TorStar, BMW, BMO Bank of Montreal, BMO Nesbitt Burns, Towers Perrin, Trader Corp., The Toronto Port Authority, Merck, Meda and Vivus.

SOURCE Toronto Port Authority

For further information: Media Contact: Erin Mikaluk, Senior Manager, Communications & Media Relations, Toronto Port Authority, Tel: (416) 863-2065, Cell: (647) 298-0544, E-mail: emikaluk@torontoport.com