A Canadian man used more than 100 balloons and $12,000 worth of helium for a crazy marketing move to promote his start-up

By Jacqueline Andriakos
Updated July 07, 2015 04:30 PM
Credit: Mary Evans/Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar Animation Studios/Ronald Grant/Everett

Entrepreneur Daniel Boria quite literally took his advertising tactics to new heights Sunday when he attempted to skydive into the Calgary Stampede in order to promote his cleaning company.

In a shock-marketing effort to promote his start-up, All Clean Natural, the Victoria native appeared to take a page out of Disney Pixar’s Up when he used more than 100 party-size balloons and $12,000 worth of helium for his eyebrow-raising stunt, which went awry when police quickly detained him after he made it out of the sky.

“I was sitting in a lawn chair looking down through the clouds at 747 airplanes and looking up to a cluster of helium balloons,” Boria told local Toronto outlet The Star on Monday.

The 26-year-old ended up ditching his plans to make the skydive attempt when the weather didn’t cooperate, and instead broke free from his lawn-chair creation for a crash landing in a farmer’s field nearby, according to the news outlet. (And sprained his ankle in the process!)

“I rose to a certain altitude and the winds got pretty intense. I was somersaulting out the chair and it felt like minus-30,” he said. He never did a test run before taking off.

Next up to crush his dreams were the local police, who detained him Sunday evening and released him Monday morning, CBC News reported. Authorities initially charged him with mischief causing danger to life and mischief to property under $5,000, but they eventually dropped the latter charge.

“I knew I would get arrested, but I didn’t think they would pursue it as heavily as they did,” Boria, who did obtain a skydiving license prior to taking flight, told the outlet. “I’ve never done anything wrong before, and this was with good intentions.”

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A police spokesperson told CBC, “I don’t think any publicity stunt is worth your life, nor obviously the life or property of somebody else,” adding that it “probably would have been cheaper to get a billboard.”

According to CBC, officers confiscated the entrepreneur’s parachute and his video footage taken during flight. As for the chair and the balloons? They may still be somewhere in the clouds.

After dropping $20,000 on the materials, including hiring a plane to advertise a company banner, Boria still remains a believer in his sky-high business endeavors – despite an arrest and an injury.

“Sometimes you’ve got to live life on a limb if you truly believe in your company,” Boria told The Star.