For $1,000, aerial banner ad crashed site, clinched advertisers

#madREskillz: used 'banner towing' to reach hundreds of thousands

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In an age where Web marketing is all the rage, marketers may sometimes neglect promising nondigital advertising opportunities. But, as a recent campaign by #madREskillz winner demonstrated, branding that targets people who are out and about, not glued to their computers, can still pay off big time. The wiki-style site that crowdsources data on residential condo buildings in major cities across North America recently arranged for an airplane to drag a banner ad bearing its name over the heads of hundreds of thousands of people who turned out for Vancouver's Celebration of Light, which took place in late July and early August. The stunt grabbed so much attention that it crashed, snagged the site social media fans and reeled in a few advertisers. Laurence Putnam, founder and president of, said he thought of the idea one weekend when he saw a plane flying overhead dragging the message "Susan Will You Marry Me?" "My first thought was I'm...