Growing up in the UK, Thanksgiving was one of those things I never naturally got about the United States; a bit like rudimentary orthodontics and the appeal of that rather odd TV series Gilligan’s Island.
Now, after 20 years in the travel media business, working with clients such as American and United Airlines and Amtrak, I understand exactly what a huge deal the Thanksgiving holidays are. And if it’s a big deal for us, it’s an even bigger one for the brands that advertise with us. Just think, phrases such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday are now international marketing phenomena.

Rising wealth, falling air fares and an increased consumer confidence have lead Airlines for America to predict that 27.3m air passengers will travel on US airlines over the Thanksgiving period. This is up 2.5% on 2015 or, to put it more graphically, 55,000 EXTRA passengers every day compared to last year. That’s an Oakland Raiders home attendance that wasn’t there last year.

Personally I suspect this is a conservative estimate, as last year’s crystal ball figures for the Thanksgiving exodus fell some 1.3m short of the actual number of passengers that travelled. Imagine you could showcase your brands to that vast army of nigh on 30m consumers on the move. All of them kicking back, relaxing with a festive drink and dreaming of the great gifts and family ahead (or leaving the terrible gifts and family behind).

Well maybe it’s too early for Santa, but I can make that happen. Ink works with two of the USA’s biggest airlines in American and United, and this holiday period will see them adding extra seats, additional routes and increasing staff numbers.
American carried more than 201m passengers in 2015 – 15.8m in November alone – and United’s first and business class travellers’ magazine Rhapsody proudly retained its title as boasting the “most affluence audience in print”. Travelling inspires people, it excites them and it removes them from the distractions of everyday life. This “bubble” is the perfect moment for brands to engage with their audience when they have the time, focus and mindset to respond.

Ink’s media can connect your brand to 745m passengers around the globe and we can do that at every step of their journey.

At its peak, it’s expected that 2.8m Americans will fly in just one day – Sunday, November 27th – with Monday and Wednesday not far behind. But remember, it’s not all about these holidays – our magazines are in front of millions of affluent consumers EVERY DAY.
So to put your brand right at the beating heart of a continent on the move and tap into a connected dialogue like no other, drop us a line.

I still don’t get the Gilligan’s Island thing though.

Happy Thanksgiving!