Innovation That Matters

Outdoor ads target air travellers

Advertising & Marketing

UK-based Ad-Air Group is taking outdoor advertising to a higher level with a planned network of flat-on-the-ground billboards, each five acres in size. All ads in the network will be strategically placed along the flight paths of the world’s major airports. Given their enormous size, passengers will have plenty of time to reflect on an ad’s message as their plane takes off or approaches an airfield. The company spent more than seven years securing strategically placed plots of land and will charge a reported GBP 40,000–80,000 per month based on an ad’s location. The first of what will be 30 of mega ad sites debuted in Dubai in October. The ad for a real estate company operating in the futuristic Middle Eastern city will be seen by an estimated 14 million travellers winging overhead each year. But its sheer size has already earned it a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records and provided the client company with plenty of free publicity. Of course, messages aimed on high go all the way back to Peru’s Nazca lines carved by the Nazca civilization starting in 200 B.C. Yet the medium still offers plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs or those who simply want to get noticed. A German firm called Artfield specializes in creating ad displays in farm fields for clients that have included Swissair and Budget Rent a Car. Elsewhere, a crop circle that appeared in field of rye near Johannesburg, S.A., back in 1993 mysteriously resembled a BMW logo. According to the Museum of Hoaxes, a local ad agency created the display as a stunt – which reportedly earned its automotive client USD 1 million in free exposure. Finally, there’s Dubai’s own artificial islands extending out into the Persian Gulf that are home to some of the world’s most coveted residential real estate. Laid out to resemble a palm tree and even a map of the world, the islands indirectly serve as an advertisement for the city’s ongoing economic boom that’s large enough to be seen from space. Spotted by: Murtaza Ali Patel



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