The New Advertising: Satellite Graffiti

In an era of ever increasing satellite map imagery and tools like Google Maps to view them, savvy advertisers are now creating 'ground ads' large enough to show up on satellite map images. Think: crop circle advertising.
May 1, 2006, 1pm PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"There's nothing new to advertisers exploiting an aerial view. But now Google Earth and other online mapping features provide the mechanism to deliver such ads for free, and potentially to a global audience. In a way, what's emerging now is a version of graffiti for the satellite age. Once the publicity and marketing industry takes over, the sky's the limit.

...What Maxim did was create a gigantic version of its 100th edition's cover, then instal it (cover-side up of course) on a barren patch of land just outside Las Vegas. Squint hard enough at a Google Earth image of the area, and you'll see it."

From Google Earth Blog:

"Just a few months ago, roof top ads suddenly got a lot of attention when people started spotting them in Google Maps and Google Earth. For example, Target has a few stores with their distinctive target-symbol logo painted [Google Earth File. You must have GE installed.] on their large roofs. They did this when the roof can be clearly viewed by nearby skyscrapers or planes about to land at an airport. They have been pleasantly surprised with the much larger ad impressions they are getting."

From Wired:

"Fitz-Gerald, who runs a roofing business in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, wants to make a business out of posting promotional messages on top of buildings. He's started a company,, and is looking for roof owners and advertisers to bring his vision to fruition."

From the home page of a spoof website,

"From Google Earth to MultiMaps, marketing the ground *is* the next step in marketing technology. Be at the forefront of this revolution and see how we can help your business gain a foothold in this frontier market. Work with our team to create a unique brand presence in a completely new arena - earth viewing. Choose a simple option such as a few roofs, a whole street or a whole field or the luxury 'Big Adâ„¢' and create a fake reef in either the Pacific or Indian Ocean (Atlantic Ocean coming online spring 2007)"

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, April 30, 2006 in eWeek
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