A two-week promotional campaign that promised to completely rebrand Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5 has turned out to be slightly less revolutionary than advertised. Samsung boldly proclaimed on Friday that it would take over Heathrow's crown jewel, the prettiest and most modern terminal in the world's busiest international airport, with ads running on billboards, every digital display, and signage throughout T5. What it's actually done, however, is merely buy a little bit more advertising space than the other guys and use its "Welcome to Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5" tagline on it.
The airport authority says it's "relaxed" about Samsung expressing this hyperbolic renaming, mostly because the advertising is self-evidently promotional and difficult to confuse with an official sanction. Still, it's striking to see it positioned alongside a "welcome to our home" message from British Airways, and Samsung will surely benefit from the implicit association that might create in travelers' minds. Most of the space now occupied by Samsung was previously taken up by Nokia, so Terminal 5 commuters will be used to expansive promotions by big mobile companies, though the unprecedented part with Samsung's campaign is in the wording it's been allowed to use.
- Driving in to the airport, you'll be greeted by big ad boards decorated with dimpled phones and a welcome to "Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5."
- The original "Welcome to Terminal 5" greeting remains partially visible under the Samsung sticker.
- The T5 departures area is rich on technology brands, with Samsung's marketing doing battle against banners from Microsoft, Vodafone, and others.
- On the left side as you pass security, a baby blue Galaxy S5 greets you.
- And on the right side, there's the dimpled background of another S5, this time in white.
- Microsoft's big cloud push is prominent throughout the terminal, thanks to these ubiquitous banners.
- Ad boards of this kind are scattered throughout the terminal, displaying Samsung ads at regular intervals.
- Samsung may provide the display, but this particular ad is for Vodafone's business services. Samsung didn't secure exclusivity on ad space for its two-week run.
- The areas occupied by Samsung's advertising today were for a long time taken up by Nokia and its Lumia range.
- The security checks are where Samsung dominates the view. The sprawling billboards are reminiscent of the vast screens Samsung uses during its Unpacked launch events.
- Samsung's advertising is quirky enough to attract interest, but most people will likely ignore it the way they do with most other marketing banners and posters. This entryway sign is one of the few ones where the airport really feels like it's part of the Samsung campaign. For the most part, the ads are very obviously set apart from official signs.
- The arrivals area is completely bereft of mentions of Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5, though the company manages to say goodbye to drivers leaving the airport with the help of some more street signage.