When it was time for Virgin Australia to roll out a new global frequent flyer program, they devised a campaign where they’d ask their frequent flyers what world monument they’d most like to visit, and then have me build that monument out of the new Velocity Frequent Flyer cards onsite in Sydney, Australia. Of course, as luck would have it, the monument people wanted to see most was the Eiffel Tower. And, while this is not any easy build, it becomes even more difficult when you have to build it out of glossy, slippery plastic credit cards . . . and when you have to build it big. In this case, the bigger the tower, the bigger the span between legs, and the greater the weight. It was not easy!
On my first attempt, after getting to the first platform where all four legs of the tower join in mid-air, I heard a click, and in about two seconds the entire project was flat on the ground. Ok, no problem. I revised my structural strategy. On my second attempt, after building up to the second platform where all four legs join once again in mid-air, I heard a click, and, yep, the entire tower fell flat as could be. Now it was serious. I revised my structural strategy once more, and on my third attempt, managed to make it all the way to the top of the tower without it falling. I was nervous. The cause of all the problems was the very, very slippery cards.
In the end, we had a media event where I sat watching as Virgin announced the arrival of the new cards. I was terrified the entire tower would just collapse during the event. But, no, it stood the test. These collapses are very unusual, and even the Eiffel Tower should not have been so hard. Luckily, the many buildings I had built around the tower to give it a city feel did not fall victim to my crashing tower during the course of the build. I finished just in time for the press conference onsite in Sydney, Australia and photo shoot with Virgin executives and flight attendants. And yes, my wife and I also had a ton of fun flying Virgin to get to the Land Down Under for this project.