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
A much better midseason for Fox
For Bill O’Reilly, steady through it all
Real identity of naked Buckingham guy
‘Dig,’ off we go to Armageddon, again
Tell us your thoughts on Hispanic media
When is a spinoff one too many?
Media buyers to Nielsen: Changes, please
Spike upfront: We’re gender-neutral now
Cable overnights: ‘Saul’ slides again
The word: Shakeup coming at NBC News
Tweet Yo Self: ‘Parks’ finale scores on Twitter
A decline for Fox’s ‘The Following’
This week’s cable ratings
- Zenaida Torres becomes group account director at Lowe Campbell Ewald
- Christine Perez-O'Rourke becomes PR manager at Big Spaceship
- Andrew Clurman rises to CEO at Active Interest Media
- Chris Rantamaki becomes SVP of production at Discovery
- Stephen Colvin becomes president and COO at Robb Report Digital
- Lucy Gilmour rises to photo director at The Wall Street Journal
- Josh London becomes CMO at IDG Communications
- Bill Gedwill becomes VP of business development at Kvantum
- Jeff Zeleny becomes senior Washington correspondent at CNN
- Dermot Mulroney joins Hallmark's 'Northpole: Open For Christmas'
- Jillian Michaels starring in Spike TV's 'Sweat Inc.'
- Hemmings Motor News founder Ernie Hemmings dies at 88
This week’s cable ratings
This week’s broadcast ratings
This week’s top movies, songs and books
This week’s daypart ratings
This month’s new media traffic data
This week’s younger viewer ratings
Remote media buyer available for all markets
Offline media buyer job in San Francisco
Spot media buyer wanted in Greenville, S.C.
Communications strategist/media planner in Chicago
Digital campaign and analytics manager