‘Adapt & Survive’: Norman Howell on digitising inflight magazines

By Luke Barras-hill |

ADAPT AND SURVIVE - Norman Howell e-Mersion 460x306In a break from tradition, this episode of TRBusiness’ ‘Adapt & Survive’ series offers an outside lens into the travel retail and duty free industry.

Melbourne-based e-Mersion Media is a startup that has devised a digital alternative to the conventional inflight magazine.

Normal Howell, Editorial Director at e-Mersion Media discusses the company’s raison d’être: ‘Bringing magazines to life’ via what it claims is an immersive and creative venture that engages customers while amplifying brands’ stories.

He says reaction from airlines and concessionaires to the digital solution, which replaces the ‘static page-turner PDF’, has been very positive, but that positivity has tended to land in two separate camps.


One the one hand, there are clients that are interested, but naturally – given the current predicament – are divesting energies into aviation’s restart. On the other, there are those that have already been exploring similar technologies.

Howell says passengers can access the digital version of the airline’s inflight magazine, built as a white-label product, via an app where they can digest rich content, visuals and video while benefiting from additional ancillary offers.

Acknowledging the present challenges in reassuring passengers of a safe travel experience ­– and how new protocols around health and safety could sway the inclination to purchase – Howell stresses that opportunity exists in engaging customers pre-trip and such decision making will be key.

“If you don’t have to engage physically with people to purchase, this is a winner and you can do this through this platform,” he said. “Content can drive passengers to interact with or buy experiences that they would normally purchase onboard or in airports.”

Adapt and Survive asks members of the travel retail industry community, often working from home, for their candid commentary on the constantly evolving Covid-19 pandemic.

For more information, visit: https://e-mersion.media/

The video series is a direct response to the industry’s critical need for direct, factual and analytical commentary and – in typical TRBusiness fashion – interprets clearly and concisely the challenges faced by travel retail during Covid-19.

To register your interest in the Adapt and Survive series, please contact one of the editorial team at the following addresses: [email protected][email protected][email protected].

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