It’s been a big year for Ford, in more ways than one! In February, the vehicle company unveiled a record-breaking billboard in Madrid, Spain. The installation featured an advertisement for the new Ford EcoSport SUV, but that wasn’t what made it such a huge deal.
The billboard measured approximately 56,672 square feet square feet, making it the worlds largest billboard.
For one month, the advertisement proudly inspired Madrid with the bold statement, “Life is out there. Are you?”
It was awarded the official Guinness World Record for Worlds Largest Billboard soon after installation. The previous record had been set four years prior, in 2014.
Ford Sweeps Worlds Largest Billboard Record
An official Guinness Records judge confirmed the measurements in February and certified the EcoSport installation as the record-holder for worlds largest billboard.
Engineers mounted the billboard on the front of the magnificent Edificio España in Madrid. The building is the eighth tallest in all of Madrid. It accommodated the huge billboard — which was the size equivalent of 20 tennis courts– for most of February. Engineers removed the 4,409-pound billboard at the end of the month. However, all that effort wasn’t wasted. Ford then donated all materials used on the billboard to the Apascovi Foundation. The foundation is renowned as an employment center for people with disabilities. The center will repurpose all donated materials used in the construction of the worlds largest billboard, giving the achievement a second life.
The decision to design a billboard large enough to sweep the Guinness World Record was inspired by Ford’s famous tagline, “Go Further.” In tandem with the unveiling of their new EcoSport SUV in the European market, Ford decided to take their famed motto literally. The company aimed to “go further” figuratively and literally. In fact, Ford went further than the previous record holder by over 2,000 feet.
Choosing the Building
The Edificio España is one of the most iconic buildings in Madrid. It was finished in 1953 and is a stunning neo-baroque building.
It also was a record-holder in its own right, reigning as Madrid’s tallest building until 1957 when it was overtaken by the Torre de Madrid.The Ford billboard wrapped around the impressive facade of the building.
It has stood empty for several years, with plans for the enormous structure to be refurbished into a luxury hotel with 650 rooms in 2019.
Breaking the Previous Record
Although Ford wanted to advertise its brand new EcoSport SUV, it also wanted to beat the previous record holder. Surprisingly, however, the record wasn’t held by an automotive competitor. Instead, Ford found itself competing against popular electronics maker LG.
The LG cell phone company partnered with King Khaled International Airport in Saudi Arabia to build the previous record-holding billboard.
It was unveiled at the airport in Dhahran in 2014. An official Guinness World Record judge then certified the amazing feat.
LG’s billboard took an incredibly long time to commission and build. Engineers constructed the previous worlds largest billboard over three months. Construction took nearly 12,000 labor hours. When the billboard was finally erected, its official measurement was 32,291 square feet. The Ford billboard towers over the Dhahran installation by over 2,604 square feet.
Who Will Be Next?
Competition in the auto industry is particularly fierce.
Advertising experts agree that the next record seeker looking for bragging rights on the worlds largest billboard will most likely come from one of Ford’s competitors.
Billboard wars in the auto industry are particularly fierce and common. Several have made headlines, such as the decade-long billboard war between automakers BMW and Audi. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if either of the two auto titans decided to try for the record next.
However, the American auto manufacturer can be proud to hold the world record for at least a few years. Particularly in a time of reorganization for the company, the achievement is incredibly important.