Five-acre advertisements coming to the friendly skies near you

Now here is something we didn't need. UK-based Ad-Air launched a service today that will let companies advertise on five-acre plots near the runways of some of the world's busiest airports. On its Web site, the company proudly proclaims its ads are nearly 4 times the size of the Dallas Cowboys' football field and that "such size leads to an unprecedented audience impact; they are quite simply overwhelmed by the scale of the advertisement."

Overwhelmed is indeed the understatement of the week so far.

Ad-Air said it had spent five years securing sites around the world's busiest airports including London Heathrow, Paris, Geneva, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Abu Dhabi. The first advertisement will appear in Dubai next month, the company said.

Ad-Air said it has been careful to ensure that the product and processes used are always environmentally friendly, sensitive to local needs, safe and secure. These horizontal billboards will only be illuminated in locales "unique" enough to allow it.

The trend of enormous advertisements that can only be seen from the air is growing. RoofAds for example, says rooftops are a blank canvas, in effect the new billboard, the perfect venue for large-scale advertising. "Imagine your company logo, painted with a durable elastomeric colored coating atop your building, visible to thousands daily from the air!"

Ad-Air said it is targeting a "highly desirable demographic and captive audience in a clutter-free environment and in moments free of any other commercial messages." Because looking at clouds and scenery is so darned boring and unfulfilling.Ironically, the announcement of this service came on the same day a survey from researchers at the J. Walter Thompson agency that found only 14% of surveyed say their fellow Americans respect the work ad folks do.

Other results that reflected thoughts on the advertising profession found that 84% believed that "Too many things are over-hyped now," and 72% agreed that "I get tired of people trying to grab my attention and sell me stuff." Wonder how they are going to feel after seeing one of these acre-ads next time they land at an airport.

The agency's "Ad Industry Perception Survey" represented a random online survey of 966 Americans, 18 years and older, with a 50/50 balance of male/female ratio, from September 5 to 12 .

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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