3M $3 Million Behind Bulletproof Glass Challenge Real?

$3 Million Dollars 3M Challenge

Recently there has been a picture being shared on social media which shows a bus stop advertizement with a glass case containing what purports to be $3 million dollars.  The story goes that 3M is so confident about the strength of its bulletproof glass that it has put out a challenge that if anyone can break the case open the money is theirs for the taking.  Often when this story is shared, only minimal details are provided, giving the impression that somewhere right now there is a case of free money just waiting for the right person who is clever enough to figure out how to crack it open and snatch the cash.  But what’s the real story?  Although this story has taken on mythological proportions  a fact which 3M is probably quite pleased about  the truth isn’t quite what people imagine it to be.

First, there is the timing of the viral ad campaign.  Rather than being current, it actually happened back in early 2005, when 3M set up the promotional stunt at a Vancouver, Canada bus stop.  The glass poster case was prepared by covering it with a 3M product called Scotchshield, which is a see-through film that can be applied to glass to make it stronger.   Then, people passing by were challenged to break the glass in exchange for a $3 million prize for whoever who breached the glass first.   Certain other “facts” surrounding the stunt are also not quite what people believe.  For example:

  • The case did not contain $3 million.  In actuality, it held only $500 in Canadian currency.  The rest was fake.  Presumably, if someone had broken the case open they would have received their prize through some other more secure method, such as a check.
    3m bulletproof glass
    The poster case used by 3M in its $3 million dollar challenge.
  • The glass itself was not bulletproof.  It had a film applied to it to strengthen it.
  • 3M does not claim that Scotchshield makes glass bullet proof.  Instead, it is designed to make glass more shatter resistant so there is less risk of injury from flying shards of glass.
  • The case was never just sitting in the open waiting for anyone who passed by to break it open.  It was set up for one day and was carefully protected by security guards.
  • The stunt was actually remarkably cheap for 3M to pull off compared to all of the attention that it still seems to gather.  In addition to the fact that only $500 was actually in the case, other expenses were probably minimal as well, such as a one-day rental of the poster box and a team of security personnel.
  • While passersby were allowed to do some crazy things in their attempts to break the glass – such as getting a running start to kick the case and taking a sledgehammer to it – it wasn’t exactly a free-for-all.  When the aluminum frame around the poster began to give way the security guards called a halt to the challenge.  After all, it had to be the glass which broke rather than the frame around it.

So, yes, the 3M $3 million challenge to break through a piece of bulletproof glass really did happen, but many of the facts surrounding the ad campaign have been altered over time as the story was circulated around the Internet.

By Nancy Schimelpfening

Sources:

3M Poland

Gizmodo

Adland

45 Responses to "3M $3 Million Behind Bulletproof Glass Challenge Real?"

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  13. Rafael   March 16, 2017 at 9:34 am

    So, yes, the 3M $3 million challenge to break through a piece of bulletproof glass really did happen, but many of the facts surrounding the ad campaign have been altered over time as the story was circulated around the Internet.

    Reply
  14. Vencendo a Azia   March 14, 2017 at 7:16 am

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    Reply
  15. Amigos da Prosperidade   March 8, 2017 at 5:04 am

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    Reply
  16. Ryan C Hawn   February 18, 2017 at 2:12 am

    after being disabled for 17 years this would be nice i know trick or two on this stuff lol .most my ideas are sound and legal lol .to live normal life have things i need and prayed for sincerely

    Reply
  17. Howsrd   February 16, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Where is this at?

    Reply
  18. http://www.controlandoacalvicieagora.com/   February 11, 2017 at 4:31 am

    Thanks for the content, I liked it alot. Good job.

    Reply
  19. Spelling Nazi.   December 10, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Cheque, not check. Thanks.

    Reply
    • countzozma   February 15, 2017 at 9:22 pm

      Maybe if you’re across the pond. American (USA and Canada) spelling is “check,” as the article has it.

      Reply
      • Sarah   February 16, 2017 at 8:10 am

        You are only partially correct. Outside of the U.S. (specifically, in Canada) we use “cheque”.

        Oh and in Canada we don’t consider ourselves “American” as you say. We may share a continent but to be American is to be a U.S. citizen. We are proud to be Canadians 🙂

        Reply
    • no   March 30, 2017 at 12:23 am

      “you don’t spell it the way I spell it so you’re wrong”
      shut up you elitist faggot go drink maple syrup

      Reply
  20. darkskynet   October 18, 2016 at 8:26 am

    So confident about their product that they use fake money to fill the rest up…

    Reply
  21. Adam reilly   August 6, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Set up that 3mill an duluth mn and give use a try

    Reply
  22. Robbie ROBINSON   March 17, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Maybe some cheese would break it? I like cheese. Cheddar is my favorite but Gouda is nice too. And there’s really just no beating a good Colby with crackers after dinner. Oh yeah, that’s the stuff.

    Reply
  23. mit   February 28, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    i would have heated a sledge hammer at a iron hot state and hit it.. that would definitely break it..

    Reply
  24. Cabs   January 13, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    I would have brought a drill

    Reply
  25. Miller Vititow (vitimilocity)   October 29, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Couldn’t you just get a plasma cutter? And you know… open it?

    Reply
  26. Jammie   October 21, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Where the exact location?

    Reply
  27. milton   September 21, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    shoot it

    Reply
  28. Jon   July 28, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Drill a hole, use a Sawzall.

    Reply
  29. imma terroist   July 3, 2015 at 4:02 am

    would it take an air bus to break it lol ALLAH UAKABA

    Reply
    • Aaron   February 25, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      I like your way of thinking

      Reply
  30. lol   July 3, 2015 at 4:00 am

    Would it take a boeing 747 to crash into it in order to break it

    Reply
  31. Maurice van Hanswijk   May 24, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Can it take a tank? IM COMING

    Reply
  32. Natalia Oshana   December 10, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Lol I woulda went all Rambo on that NIGHA!

    Reply
  33. David Troy   November 14, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    He’s talking about the top notes being real only retard

    Reply
  34. Janine Bignell   October 19, 2014 at 4:37 am

    Lol Brandon. As stated:-

    “The case did not contain $3 million. In actuality, it held only $500 in Canadian currency. The rest was fake. Presumably, if someone had broken the case open they would have received their prize through some other more secure method, such as a check.”

    So according to this, $500 of the money is real, and the rest is fake. That would explain why there are so many notes.

    Reply
  35. Brandon   October 18, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    I cant tell you right now thats more than $500 we dont have 1 dollar bills in canada the smallest note is $5 and there is definitely more than 100 notes in there

    Reply
  36. rob   October 15, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    I would have hit it with my car. If that didn’t break it nothing will

    Reply
  37. Julia   October 13, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Can you please fix your error in this article. That is definitely not hoe you spell advertise. /:

    Reply
  38. Mark T Williams   August 18, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    To bad I didn’t get an opportunity, I would have come up with a way if they were to let my creative abilities to used.

    Reply
  39. Adam   July 24, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    stfu Melody a y u gotta be so picky

    Reply
  40. Melody a   June 23, 2014 at 9:53 am

    You say in the first paragraph it’s not bullet proof but then finish by saying it is bullet proof , which is it ? Bulletproof or shatter resistant , to think you had the Hyde to say that others were misinformed no wonder

    Reply
  41. Zoey   May 10, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Is there a sign up for this? even I want money to send by package or mail

    Reply

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