Before the Seattle Seahawks took on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday night, Seattle-based aircraft giant Boeing had one final send-off for their hometown team.
Taking advantage of a test flight opportunity for one of its new 747-8f cargo planes, Boeing provided a custom paint job and flight plan to send an aerial message. Painted with the Seahawks blue and green colors, the freighter traced a giant “12” over eastern Washington state in homage to the Seahawks “12th Man” – the name given to the fans at CenturyLink Field known for decibel-crushing crowd noise.
While you couldn’t actually see the “12” in the form of a smoke trail or banner simply by looking up, the stunt could be witnessed and tracked in real-time on FlightAware.com. The test flight took roughly five hours to complete, and spanned nearly 100 miles east-west and north-south.
“We had an opportunity to do this number 12 while we’re doing this functional check flight, so we blended the two together,” Len Quiat, a Boeing Flight Test Director, told USA Today. Boeing, which pulled a similar stunt with the release of its 787 Dreamliner a few years ago, used its JetPlanner software to integrate the entire plan.
The Seattle Seahawks, to the delight of Boeing, ended up routing the Denver Broncos for Super Bowl XLVIII by a score of 43-8 in front of an estimated record audience of 111.5 million viewers in the U.S.
With the fight for audience attention coming at a premium – $4 million for a 30-second spot during the game this year – perhaps Boeing has uncovered a new form of guerrilla advertising.
Images: The Verge