Hey Chuck, I have a question for you: what’s with placing an ad in the bottom of airport security bins?

October 13 - charles-schwab-talk-to-chuck I've seen some really stupid, wasteful ads in my day, but Charles Schwab may have set a new low. They've placed their 'Ask Chuck' ads in the bottom of those ugly bins in which you place your shoes, watches and blackberries before walking through the TSA security checkpoint at airports.

What marketing genius came up with this media buy? 'Hey Joe, I've got it! Let's reach consumers when they're already royally pissed off, uptight and anxious. We'll place our 'Ask Chuck' ads in the bottom of airport security bins. Talk about marketing in unexpected ways! This is brilliant!'

I don't know about you, but personal finance and investment strategy are just about the last things on my mind when I'm battling the horror show that is modern-day travel. Do the fine folks at Charles Schwab actually think I'll wake up one day and say, 'Hey, I have $1,000 to invest. And, I distinctly remember seeing that Charles Schwab ad in the security bin while a TSA agent was patting me down at Newark. By George, I'll invest it with them!'

So, in the spirit of the overarching 'Ask Chuck' advertising campaign being run by the Charles Schwab Company, I thought I'd ask Chuck a simple question: 'What were you thinking, man?’

8 thoughts on “Hey Chuck, I have a question for you: what’s with placing an ad in the bottom of airport security bins?

  1. With passengers rushing through checkpoints, a security bin “is not a particularly compelling location,” says Mark Lieberman, co-CEO of Interspace Airport Advertising, which sells ads for airports. Lieberman thinks bin ads could be sold at a large airport for $250,000 to $500,000 a year, but passengers in checkpoints “would have a difficult time focusing on any message thrown at them.”

  2. Neither rain, nor snow, now sleet, no dark of night (nor the flu) will prevent Repman from composing his blog. I’m on the mend, though, bookandbloggeek. Thanks so much for asking.

  3. Steve – Glad to see you are posting again which I hope means you are feeling better and back to your old self.

  4. Sorry I missed your Kellogg’s comment, Robert. Have been traveling (hence the Schwab bin sighting). I just responded.

  5. I am sure you know the saying “Give a man a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail.” In this case give a media buyer great demographics, every solutions starts to look like an ad.
    P.S You never responded to my reponse on your NY Times/Kellogs post.

  6. You make a superb point, Robert. I would absolutely pay attention to a History Channel airport bin ad about mountain climbing. I’ve actually learned about upcoming TV programs from just such ‘unexpected’ advertising. So, I stand corrected: the bin may be the right ‘vehicle’ for the right advertiser. But, whoever decided to put the Schwab ads there need to be given a full body (and mind) pat down.

  7. Steve, Is there anywhere in the airport Charles Scwab could could put their add which would get you or a harried business traveler to repond? My bet is Charles Schawb was thinking the demographics of the business travler is perfect and how could they miss out on this opportunity to connect with this hard to reach demographic? Then they stopped thinking. They did not think and take the time to ask what is the remarkable message they can get across when the stressed out business travler is going through security. Steve, I know you are a man of humor. I have to believe their could be quite a few humorous ways to get a message across at that time. How about ask Chuck for a drink?
    If the history channel was doing a series on the greatest mountain climbers and their most challeneging climbs would they not capture your interest if they put their add on the bottom of those ugly bins?
    I am not 100% convinced the ugly bins is the wrong place for Chuck to put his add. What I am 100% convinced is that their lack of thought in just putting their logo out their will result in a complete waste of their investment.