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Outdoor ads that belong in the Digital Budget

Here’s a picture, taken from a helicopter last week, from McDonald’s and its ad agency Leo Burnett.

The photo is of a one-day, 12,062 square-foot advertisement placed in a suburban Chicago swimming pool to promote McDonald’s new 42 oz. soda (Yes – that’s almost 1.25 liters, for those keeping score). Notice the cutesy diving board-straw. Burnett’s PR rep also sent along the following factoids:

-The banner is seven pieces, lowered into pool with leverage

-Two scuba divers positioned the sections in the pool

-Sections were snapped together with a total of 681 maritime quality snaps

-The ad’s 474 foot perimeter was fitted with grommets every 2 ft for cable wiring to hold it in place.

-Total banner weighs 3,000 pounds

-Took a full day to install

Seems like an awful lot of trouble, especially since you pretty much needed to be in that pool that day or in a helicopter to see it. That is, unless you clicked onto a blog. I’ve got a soft spot for this new genre of ads, these old-fashioned publicity stunts fitted for viral play online. This one is extreme, but it’s amusing to see cool stuff in the real world when you’re cooped up in an office all day. And it’s a much livelier way to advertise outdoors than another billboard.

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