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Aerial Advertising: A Guide to Airplane Banners, Skywriting, Drones and More

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drones Olympic rings
Drones open the Olympics

 

Aerial Advertising: A Guide to Airplane Banners, Skywriting, Drones and More

 

 

WRITTEN BY Rodolfo Queiroz is an expert in the Out-of-Home world and is based out of Los Angeles, CA currently working at DASH TWO. 

 

 

Aerial advertising encompasses any type of marketing taking place in the sky. Airplanes towing banners, skywriting, drones and even flogos are forms of aerial advertising. The format is cost-effective and faces very little competition, two major selling points for any kind of ad.

Aerial advertising dates back before World War II, when an airport owner in New Hampshire attached banners to his cadre of J3 Cubs. After the war, the format picked up steam.

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While aerial advertising is not one of the most popular forms of outdoor advertising, many advertisers adore it. They appreciate the unique format and love the attention it draws to their services or products. No matter what type of aerial ads you choose, they work most effectively in densely populated areas, where you can reach lots of people at the same time.

We’ve assembled a guide to aerial advertising to answer your questions about this fun and creative format.

Airplane Banner Towing Cost

Sky banners cost less than a typical billboard in New York City or Los Angeles. You will pay for a per-day two-hour minimum, which may cost $7,000 to $9,000, depending on your location and how long you want your airplane banner to fly.

The price includes a ferry fee for the airplane to fly to the location where you want to run your ad, as well as the flight time when the pilot will be in the air. The price also covers paying to have the banner created. You have two main choices:

  • Logo boards, which include your company’s logo and a banner with a few words, are an economical option that provide better branding than the cheapest form of aircraft advertising, which is a letter banner.
  • Aerial billboards offer a more sophisticated alternative, with custom-created billboards like you’d see on the ground.

What Type of Ads Work for Airplane Banners?

Most advertisers choose static banners that may include words or a logo and some copy. More recently, some advertisers have experimented with towing lit signs, which must take place at night. People may find nighttime banners more memorable, but the activation will also cost more money.

Aerial Advertising
Aerial Advertising Airplane Banner

If you have room in the budget for a real attention-getter, helicopter advertising costs more than airplane advertising, but it may also draw more notice. Helicopters can tow bigger signs and hover closer to the ground than planes.

Weather Restrictions for Skywriting

Skywriting is fun and noticeable and has a great chance of becoming a hit when people share pictures online. It does carry some restrictions, though. It only works on clear days, ideally without wind. Humid conditions are best. If the weather is poor, your campaign may be delayed, which can be a headache if you face time constraints.

How Much Is Skywriting?

Skywriting costs run a bit lower than airplane banner towing prices, as it usually takes less time. An airplane writing in the sky usually costs up to $5,000, including the ferry fee for the plane to come to the location. Most activations last one day.

The Ins and Outs of Flogos

Flogos
Flogos Disney

Think of flogos as UFOs — unidentified foamy objects. A machine is used to generate the foam balloon-type logos, which are lighter than air and made from soap bubbles and helium. Most often, campaigns produce a slew of them with the same shape and release them into the air all at once to draw attention. Flogos cost less than skywriting and airplane banners.

The New Kid: Drone Advertising

Drones are the newcomer to the aerial advertising party, though they have been used for almost a decade. After some initial excitement about their advertising potential, clients’ interest has cooled a bit because, let’s face it, having a drone approach you on the street is a little creepy. But we see interest in drones picking up as they become more commonplace.

They’ve been used for advertising at the Super Bowl, Democratic National Convention and Coachella. You can use them to drop freebies, which is excellent for concerts and other big events, as well as holding banners or small signs.

 

Odeza Coachella Drone Show

Aerial Advertising Laws

The Federal Aviation Administration regulates aerial advertising, which is also subject to local and state regulations. The vendor will discuss specifics with you. Pilots must have a private pilot’s license and an FAA waiver to fly banners. The waivers include when and where the advertising can take place.

Aerial Advertising Locations

You can plan an aerial advertising campaign anywhere, but you’ll have the greatest success in three places:

  • Big events, like the Super Bowl, or Coachella.
  • Big cities, where lots of people see the advertisement.
  • Beaches, where you find many vendors experienced in aerial advertising deployment. (You probably can’t even remember the last time you went to the beach and didn’t see an airplane towing a banner, right?)

Aerial advertising is a unique way to promote your product or service and potentially gain traction on social media. Remember, the more creative your advertisement, the farther it will resonate. And if you need help planning, contact DASH TWO to discuss your needs.

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