The world’s priciest billboard stunt ever
Advertiser vows to spend $1.3 billion to have a man circle a board
July 10, 2012
So how much would you guess the world's most expensive billboard costs?
Fifty million dollars?
Five hundred million dollars?
A billion dollars?
Try $1.3 billion, if you believe an over-the-top alternative media stunt that took place in Dubai last month.
Here's what was promised by a press release announcing the stunt: A man wearing a jet pack would circle around a billboard advertising a new energy drink, demonstrating just how much power that energy drink could deliver.
The billboard was located at the entrance of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, in downtown Dubai, where it was certain to draw the attention of passersby.
For the man to fly around the billboard for an entire month would have cost $1.3 billion, at a price of $500 per second, claimed the two companies behind the stunt.
Here's what actually happened: The man in the jet pack flew around for a mere 30 seconds.
The whole thing was a con.
The advertisers weren't willing to shell out the $1.3 billion they referred to in the release, but still used the "most expensive billboard in the world" hook to publicize their stunt, a pretty slick idea.
The billboard was a dual effort by Skydive Dubai, a local skydiving center that helped provide the equipment, and Go Fast, an energy drink that competes with Red Bull.
Go Fast is launching its first Dubai product and wanted an over-the-top stunt to attract attention. The Denver company has a history of outrageous stunts, setting a new world record four years ago for longest distance flown using a jet belt.
The actual stunt was way less impressive than the press release, which touted the high expense of the billboard.
The jet pack included engine packs branded with the Go Fast logo, and the man flying the pack wore a branded helmet.
At the appointed time, in front of a small gathering of reporters, the jet pack man took off from a landing pad at the base of the billboard.
He flew from left to right for about a half minute before landing again on the launch pad.
The stunt worked because although it was a complete gimmick, it was an amusing one.
Go Fast promotes itself as a bold company, and what's bolder than claiming to have the world's most expensive billboard, even though that's not even remotely true?
The stunt got tons of play on social media and advertising web sites around the world, and a video of the jet pack flight posted on YouTube has racked up more than 142,000 views so far.
Tags: advertising, alternative media, alternative media advertising, ambient media, billboard, billboard stunt, Burj Khalifa, dubai, go fast, media, most expensive billboard, red bull, reporters, Skydive Dubai, world's most expensive billboard