Google have started rolling out an NFC and QR code ad campaign throughout selected Australian airports and I was lucky enough to be passing through Melbourne airport and got to experience it first hand.

The campaign is being delivered across 39 digital advertising panels located in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane airports and provides easy access to content on the Play Store can could complement your journey.

I was a little hesitant at first but thought I would give it a try, so up I went to the panel and touch my Galaxy Nexus to the side of the display. straight away chrome fired up and took me to a welcome page. There is no need to download a special app or any additional plug-ins, it just worked. From there you connect to the display and everything you click on from that moment on is also displayed on the large display. Now I don’t know about you, but the idea of having everything I do on my phone (within that browser window) displayed for everyone to see is a bit of a put off. Do I want everyone knowing that I am interested in Django Unchained or Nirvana? Not really.

Placing the privacy concerns aside, it works great and there was a respectable selection of content on offer. I was however a little disappointed by the fact that this is all content that I could already get from the Play Store and there are no special discounts, but it was a little bit excited seeing Google push some of their wares to other consumers that may not be as “hooked” into the Google ecosystem as I am.

Have you seen these displays on your travels and have/would you purchased content as a result? Let us know in the comments below.

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    David Watt

    That’s a really innovative idea! I like it! And personally, I don’t give a crap who knows what movies or music I get.

    Lincoln Mah

    Tried this at Tullamarine last Saturday. Didn’t work the first time and I checked to see if I had turned off NFC (I had it on). Worked the second time. Thought I was going to get free movies/music/books etc. Nope. So I didn’t buy anything. For some reason it fired up Opera rather than Chrome (don’t have a default browser), which didn’t work. Cut and paste the address into Chrome and it worked. Suspect it would have taken some time to download a movie. Also when you sign into the free Wi-Fi at Melbourne Airport there is an ad for… Read more »


    It would need to be really reliable straight away. The last thing anyone would want is to look like a d!ck tapping their phone against the side of a massive screen in a packed airport terminal, with everyone looking at them thinking “is this guy/girl on crack?” and it not working. A bad first up experience would stop people from trying again. It’s a pretty cool exposure idea from Google, though. I would definitely give it a go. I can’t see it being a long term thing, however, as it sounds like it’s no different to just jumping onto the… Read more »

    Sean Royce

    I’ve seen few of these screens. It wasn’t even for Google Play. Just an NFC screen thing, and I’ve tried it once or twice and it didn’t work, and I felt like a complete fool tapping my phone at nothing.


    google is spending the effort on the wrong thing… GIFT CARDSSSSS! BOOM. IDEA OF THE YEAR for Google down under.


    Agreed. I want gift cards.

    Sean Royce

    This is the main reason people don’t buy Apps on Android. iTunes cards are worldwide, and Google barely have them anywhere.

    Christopher Salmon

    I did a day trip for work to Sydney and noticed these at Melbourne and Sydney airports. I was rushing through terminals most of the time but I tried once to use the NFC chip in my Galaxy Nexus and it didn’t seem to work. I gave up after 5-10 seconds of trying.

    Sean Royce

    Same. Mine didn’t work either.