What is a captive audience?

A captive audience is a person or a group of people who have gathered in a certain place for a purpose and are provided or exposed to information that are unrelated to their actual purpose of being there. For example, students may gather in a classroom to study physics but may be "bombarded" with soft drink advertising or promotion. People queuing up at a petrol station or at a supermarket check-out are considered a "captive audience." They are likely to stay there for a certain time and are thus "captives" for a while. Other examples may include people in a departure lounge in airports and sports stadia. Advertising for such "captive audience" is likely to be effective because there is a high probability of the advertising being read or listened or seen.