Ginza's Latest Attraction: Scuba Divers Dangling From a Skyscraper

A New Stunt Courtesy of InterContinental and McCann, Tokyo

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InterContinental scuba stunt

TOKYO (AdAge.com) -- Tokyo offers its residents many pleasures, but scuba diving hasn't been one of them, until this week. To launch their latest luxury resorts in Okinawa, InterContinental Hotels Group and its partner in Japan, ANA Hotels, suspended a pair of scuba divers off the Sony Building in Ginza, Tokyo's premier commercial district.

The stunt, orchestrated by McCann Erickson, Tokyo, involves a "diving" performance featuring two professional stuntmen suspended high in the air to feature one of the activities offered at the ANA InterContinental Manza Beach Resort and ANA InterContinental Ishigaki Resort. The joint venture has four other hotels in Tokyo and Yokohama.

The air-diving ballet was launched yesterday, and will be repeated several times daily for four days. Concierges from the two resorts in Okinawa are on hand to offer information about the resorts.

IHG isn't the first marketer in Japan to use live-action stunts as a way to cut through the clutter of that country's highly developed ad market and avoid the high cost of media there.

Intercontinental scuba stunt
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A pair of scuba divers are suspended off the Sony Building in Ginza, Tokyo's premier commercial district.

In November 2005, Adidas created an "Impossible Sprint" extreme-sports contest in which 40 athletes climbed 328-foot, eight-lane vertical tracks on skyscrapers in Osaka and Hong Kong.

At another Adidas event in Tokyo in April 2004, a basketball player used a trampoline to sink baskets in a hoop hanging above a five-story building in Tokyo. The hoop, with Adidas' logo on the backboard, was attached to a large tarp that provided a billboard-like backdrop. The basketball player was harnessed between two poles to stay centered and used the trampoline on the ground for momentum to propel himself up to the hoop. The basketball was tethered so it didn't bounce away. The player shot baskets in five-minute sessions twice an hour, 12 times a day, right by Tokyo's Adidas store and a busy train station.

In September 2003, Adidas dangled two players and a ball by ropes 12 stories above the ground, where they played soccer at a 90-degree angle to a vertical soccer field displayed behind them as a giant billboard. The Adidas stunts were invented by John Merrifield, now TBWA's creative-at-large in Asia and previously chief creative officer of the Omnicom Group agency's office in Japan.

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