The Brief

Work with Toshiba to launch the world’s lightest laptop

The Solution

A record-breaking bid to cross the Atlantic by helium balloon

Captive Minds worked closely with the adventurer David Hempleman-Adams to deliver a campaign for Toshiba Europe. We created all the marketing collateral, handled all press and delivered live content that hit all of Toshiba’s major markets including the US, Canada, Spain, France, Italy, Germany and the UK.

Adventurer, David Hempleman-Adams took to the skies in the worlds smallest hellium-filled gas balloon and broke 5 world records in the process. Crossing the Atlantic on a totally carbon free flight, David promoted the the world’s lightest laptop – The Toshiba Portégé R500.

“The Toshiba Transatlantic Challenge is by far the most dangerous transatlantic flight ever attempted.”

David Hempleman-Adams

We worked on Toshiba’s brand development & positioning, the product launch of the Toshiba Portégé R500 and all communications & support logistics. Captive Minds deployed media teams to New York, US & Newfoundland, Canada, syndicated content to news worldwide as well as building a dedicated website and interactive map.


The Toshiba website received 1.7m hits over two months, with a total media AVE of £3.2m and a reach of nearly 80 million. The product was sold out across Europe for weeks after the campaign.

The challenge took David Hempleman-Adams just under four days, smashing the world record distance by over 2000km.

“Our customers lived the adventure with the pilot, David Hempleman-Adams. Through the media, including extensive television coverage and online activity, the R500’s record-setting features around portability and operational longevity were pushed to the fore. The campaign was the very essence of Toshiba’s core value,  “Leading Innovation.”

Thomas E. French, Director, Toshiba Europe GMBH.