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Saying it BIG

When billboards, radio jingles and online banner ads aren’t enough to make a statement about your product…

Gulfstream Aerospace sent their Gulfstream V plane on a skywriting expedition yesterday, leaving the initials ‘GV’ traced over Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. FlightAware (which tracks flight progress from FAA data) has a map of the journey here.

Similarly, Swift City travel company in Sydney organised a giant eye advertisement in a local park last week to be picked up by aerial photographers from Google Earth and Microsoft. They used 2,500 sheets of A4 paper, pinned into the ground to make their statement. See here for their pictures.

Slashdot, who carried both these stories, used the descriptor ‘spam’ for planting ads into Google maps. And some of its readers expressed disgust with the environmental consequences of flying a plane across 11 states for the sole purpose of ‘leaving their mark on the net’. I’m clearly amused enough with these companies’ efforts to pass on the stories, but I’m not convince that either of these events will come back to bite their sponsors.

At the moment, it appears that only Digg and Slashdot have picked up the Gulfstream story. And though Google hasn’t released its new pictures of Sydney yet, I’ll be amazed if the Swift City efforts result in anything more than a self-contragulatory news item on their own website. But am I wrong? Does the information distribution power of the Internet mean that that bigger-better-faster is now on a whole new scale?


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