Bad news for all you that have automatonophobia, drones aren’t going away anytime soon. They’re even used for advertising now, yup drone advertising. It exists and will pick up speed in due time. Obviously if you’re a drone fanboy or fangirl (even if you’re not), this form of advertising opens up a whole new realm of possibility.
Case in point, this recent guerrilla stunt was done to coincide with the release of the remake of Fantastic Four (yeah I know, was a remake really necessary?) I digress, this stunt was concocted by Thinkmodo who are known for their notorious stunts, including the insane Ouija board prank and the classic ‘Devil Baby’ prank-advert.
All they needed was a drone that would fly around NYC with the assistance of the Nassau County’s Fire Service Academy. With the presence of 10 firefighters, 2 fire dept. chiefs & an environment that had been regularly used for training and could be managed for maximum safety. The drone was to give a realistic impression of what the Human Torch would arguably look like when engulfed in flames. Thinkmodo’s co-founder mentioned that they needed to work the whole ‘fire’ angle into the equation. “A special pyro technician had to figure out how to coat the aircraft so it burns in a way that the human shape reads well (instead of it looking like a big flaming ball).”
Check out the video below.
Pretty damn cool right? I’m not a fan of drones but even I have to admit this is a clever marketing ploy to generate hype for the film. But seeing this made me wonder, what other forms of drone advertising have already taken place the past year or so. Coca Cola teamed up with non-profit organisation Singapore Kindness Movement (backed by the country’s PM) using drones to deliver care packages on site where some of the most badly mistreated construction workers were placed. The humanitarian angle was a marketing boost for the NPO & Coca Cola via Ogilvy & Mather Singapore.
Another example is using drones to carry flyers and posters, whether it’s a flyer advertising lunchtime specials from Russian based noodle shop chain Wokker or a manned drone flying a banner over a festival promoting another event or product, courtesy of DroneCast.com.
And another film franchise ‘Star Trek’ used drones to coincide with the release of the 2013 film ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’.
Also few months ago we saw Brazilian Camisaria Colombo pull a drone-centric guerrilla marketing ploy by create some ‘dronequins’, courtesy of Publicis São Paulo.
Last Valentines, The Flower Council of Holland used a red ‘cupidrone’ to drop its trademark red roses in Verona, Italy. The drone recorded the couples’ instant reactions and the film was put together by Kingsday agency and director Edwin Nikkels.
Even though people may see drones as playthings or technical fads, there are those who are making big strides to make drones more domestic & commonplace. Companies like Google & Amazon are trying to make use of drone technology. Amazon are going the way of using drones as product delivery services, with Google looking to do the same (or similar). Although that being said, companies in the States face an uphill battle with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) which has strict prohibition with the use of drones (except special cases). In Germany, DHL have made it okay for drones to be used to ship medical supplies. Drones have already been used to aid humanitarian efforts (like in the Nepal earthquake), crop spraying, photo/video capture, surveillance and traditionally military weaponry. Recently Facebook had unveiled a new full-scale, 42m wing span, prototype drone ‘Aquila’ that will be used to give interact access to unconnected areas around the globe. Talk about groundbreaking. (FYI, Google are doing the same, except their idea is more ‘balloon‘ based).
Drones (UGH). They can be fun as well as be a force to be reckoned with. And just like with TV, radio, the internet and mobile, I’m sure the advertising world will continue to seep its way into drone industry and make use of its potential. Granted you can make some truly awesome stunts and guerrilla marketing ploys, I’m sure some bright spark is going to find a way to make drone advertising to be equally invasive and creepy. Either way I’m sure eventually we’ll have constant streams of advertisements courtesy of Google & Skynet … you know its coming (bring on the robo-apocalypse!).