Jeep put forth the challenge to engineer a showstopping outdoor media event to introduce the 2005 Grand Cherokee model in midtown Manhattan, in just three weeks.
In answer to the challenge, communications and marketing firm Clear!Blue came up with a way to drive home the point that the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee literally could "go anywhere." They sent the vehicle up the outside of a 27-story high rise in Midtown Manhattan.
On the ground, a half-million New Yorkers stopped to stare, while TV and Web cams sent images to millions of viewers worldwide. The amazement was real, but the feat was an elaborate theatrical illusion, engineered and fabricated by PRG in just three weeks.
Working with Clear!Blue’s chief production officer, Bill Abele, PRG designed, installed, and tested the mechanism that would make the vehicle appear to climb the 414’ structure under its own power. To reduce weight, they removed the engine and transmission from the Grand Cherokee, installed a motor that made the wheels turn, and fixed the assembly to a sled that could be hauled up the side. A heavy-duty crane and winch mechanism installed on a top floor did the heavy lifting–and was virtually invisible onlookers. Window washers’ tracks previously attached to the building guided the climb and kept the Jeep close to the facade.
Jeep was so impressed with the climb that they did it twice–once for the media event and once just for fun.