JiWire Introduces Wi-Fi Ads for Access Program

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

San Francisco-based JiWire, a six-year-old company now offering free WiFi in airports, hotels and cafés in exchange for viewing an ad, today showed off results for its first customer in a new Ads for Access program that achieved results far exceeding industry averages.

JiWire is a leading Mobile Audience Media company that reaches 20 million unique users per month through its public Wi-Fi advertising platform at 30,000 Wi-Fi hot spots across the U.S. – along with a small number in Canada. The company ordinarily delivers advertising on both the welcome page at log-in and on pages immediately after a person log-ins before they proceed to the Internet, on both paid and free networks. All ads are interactive.

The new Ads for Access program provides a deeper brand engagement experience on paid networks. Marketers offer consumers a value exchange: watching their ad in exchange for free access on a network they’d otherwise have to pay for. Consumers have their choice whether to opt in. These differences can lead to a dramatic increase in click-throughs and engagement, as seen with Hyatt Place, the first to use the program.

JiWire’s recent program with Hyatt Place

Welcome page

Welcome page

reached mid-week travelers in some of the largest airports in the U.S., offering 20 minutes of free Wi-Fi access in exchange for viewing a 30-second video advertisement. The campaign, called Free Wi-Fi Wednesdays, was designed to build brand awareness for Hyatt Place among a highly valued demographic: the hard-to-reach business traveler. The objective was to highlight one of the hotels’ key amenities – free Wi-Fi access – by providing that same service at airports in exchange for viewing a video tour.

“The aim was to reach business travelers during their down time at the airport, and give them a quick virtual tour of Hyatt Place so as to encourage them to consider booking at a Hyatt Place hotel on their next business trips,” says Davis Staas, senior vice-president marketing, JiWire.

Hyatt Place virtual tour

Hyatt Place virtual tour

When opening his/her laptop at an airport’s Wi-Fi hot spot, the viewer received an ad on the Welcome page offering 20 minutes of free Wi-Fi access in exchange for accessing the Hyatt Place ad. Several attributes made the ad different from a regular display ad, including the value exchange (watching ad in exchange for free access) and a contextually relevant message based on the audience’s physical location. And it offered the viewer the Opt In choice.

In total, 39% of those accessing the airports’ Wi-Fi networks clicked on the ad, which prompted an option to continue through the campaign or return to select to a paid Wi-Fi subscription. Of the 39% who clicked the ad, a majority (68%) opted to complete the program and continue enjoying free Wi-Fi access, for a total completion rate of 27%. Engagement was higher than the norm, with consumers spending more time with the brand and there was more interaction.

“The business professional is a very valuable customer for us but can be difficult to reach

Hyatt Place Web site

Hyatt Place Web site

in an interactive, engaging, and measurable way,” says Alison Kal, vice president marketing for Hyatt. “The Free Wi-Fi Wednesdays program we executed with JiWire provided a new opportunity to deliver relevant messages that helped us connect with business travelers.”

The Ads for Access program allows brands to interact with a consumer by sponsoring sessions of free Wi-Fi in exchange for engagement in their ad campaign. Whereas Hyatt Place developed a successful rich media campaign, brands can also engage consumers through full-motion video, social media applications, location-based searches, and downloadable content. The Ad for Access program provides a deeper level of interaction through multiple impressions including a welcome screen, a decision page, the body of the campaign, and a thank you page, all of which sit in front of the Wi-Fi firewall. (The service will also be available for smart phone users, but Staas says that most users tend to use laptops in Wi-Fi locations)

Thank you page

Thank you page

Because the audience is connected to the Internet using laptops and handheld devices like iPhones, JiWire has the ability to measure actual impressions and interactions.

“The only marketer’s ad is offered, so the advertiser has 100% share of voice,” says Staas.

“The Hyatt Place campaign is a great example of our unique ability to offer interactive, place-based marketing opportunities that capture mobile audiences in context, while offering detailed metrics commonly associated with online advertising,” says Kevin McKenzie, CEO of JiWire.

The company works closely with Nielsen Claritas to offer advertisers knowledge of the Wi-Fi user audience, locations, frequency of use, and other information so that it can build a robust platform.

“For example, we know that the Wi-Fi user in cafés in Dallas compared to the cafés user in San Francisco is 41% more likely to have an income of over $200,000; 28% more likely to have a family home worth more than $500,000; and 17% more likely to have a management title,” says Staas. “Claritas gives us important information that we can use to combine users and venues to offer the advertiser a solid target audience. It’s a customizable experience.” (JiWire employs its own sale team.)

Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company. The company’s subsidiaries own, manage or franchise more than 380 hotels and resorts under the Hyatt, Park Hyatt, Andaz, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Placeand Hyatt Summerfield Suites brand names and have additional locations under development on five continents. (Hyatt Vacation Ownership Inc., a Hyatt Hotels Corp. subsidiary, develops and operates vacation ownership properties under the Hyatt Vacation Club and Hyatt Residence Club brands.)

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