Raleigh, Zebulon, Wake County Welcomes First Hot Air Balloon Festival And Competition To Triangle Region In Nearly 25 Years
WRAL-TV Signs As Freedom Balloon Fest Title Sponsor
Raleigh, NC: Hot Air Marketing, LLC formally announced it has secured WRAL-TV as title sponsor for a major hot air balloon festival and skills competition coming to Raleigh, Zebulon and Wake County. The WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest launches Memorial Day Weekend 2015 (May 22-25, 2015).
Organizers are bringing one of the nation's premier hot air balloon festivals to Zebulon's Bennett Bunn Plantation with planned public events also scheduled for Spring Forest Road Park in North Raleigh. More than 30 balloon pilots and teams from 15 states and overseas will compete.
“We are delighted to be part of this new Memorial Day weekend event,” said Steven D. Hammel, Vice President & General Manager WRAL-TV. “This is yet another vibrant activity for the Triangle. We hope this will become an annual tradition, celebrating freedom with family, saluting those who have served our country.”
“Securing WRAL as a title sponsor, with the enduring trust the community has in them, is just wonderful. They bring so many resources to this inaugural event.” said Brian Hoyle, event organizer and Managing Member of Hot Air Marketing. “With WRAL's capacity to support other sponsors' investments and build audience through its television, radio, and new media capabilities, we are very confident in the promise of the WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest to become a lasting cultural resource for our community.”
WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest will invite the public to a mass ascension of all participating balloons, followed by a balloon "glow" just after sunset on Friday, May 22 at Bennett Bunn Plantation in Zebulon. Events in Zebulon continue on Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings with competition balloon flights.
Everyone has a bucket list of some sort - even if they don't admit it. We all have that burning desire to do something that seems just out of grasp, but we really want it.
A hot air balloon experience routinely ranks among the top 10 (usually top 5) bucket list items people want to have in their lifetimes. VisitNC.com has launched a campaign called #NCBucketList geared toward fulfilling "don't miss" travel experiences across The Old North State.
So as a brand manager, social media marketer, or sales manager working with customers for big orders, what kind of lasting emotional impression do you think you'll leave on your consumer or customer if you fulfill one of their top 10 bucket list items? It's serious food for thought.
Love your customers and they will love you back. Fulfill a dream and it will be very hard to turn you down when it comes time for purchase. Brands win every time they participate in the lives and future good memories of their consumers.
Let us help you develop a new level campaign that builds brand, participates authentically in the lives of your customer or consumer, creates opportunity for them to truly become ambassadors of your brand, product or service, and let them fall in love with you. Hot Air Marketing is your bucket list specialist
Upon first glance, the weather looked like we might not get much flying in during our recent visit to the vibrant Alabama Gulf Coast community of Foley. In spite of the weather, the Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival had many things going for it - a nine year track record of crowd pleasing fun, a huge volume of tourists, a diversity of other things to do around the hot air balloons when they cannot fly, a supportive business community, and an active regional media presence looking to tell the story.
Hot Air Marketing's touring Big Red Hot Air Balloon Team pilot and crew were delighted to be on hand to help work with regional media to "tell the story" in support of our team sponsor and the event's title sponsor Tanger Outlet Centers and provide a pre-event glow at the mall as well.
Friday midday heavy rains followed by good weather meant some of the balloons were unable to participate in the tether and glow operations (many of the fields needed to dry creating cramped quarters for the numerous balloons). Earlier weather notwithstanding, the crowds showed up and the pilots were ready and able to put on a show for the assembled masses.
Hot Air Marketing stepped in to supply its "Mile High Hot Air Balloon Simulator" for guests at the event to get an up close experience of what balloon flight is like and receive a free, social media souvenir - a photo of the experience suitable for uploading to their favorite social media outlet. Each photo showcased the Tanger Outlet name in thanks for their sponsorship of the team and event. Fans and families were treated to a unique event experience they will carry with them for years to come (and share with friends around the social media sphere).
Ultimately, guests, sponsors and pilots were treated to a great weekend of celebration and all things hot air ballooning. Tethers, glows, a mass ascension and competition flight. Thanks to all of the organizers, volunteers, spectators and of course, our sponsor Tanger Outlet for putting on another great hot air balloon event. We love to share the magic of hot air ballooning!
No flashy video here. Just an old fashioned photo album from the 2014 Aloft Hot Air Balloon, Music and Community Festival in Simpsonville, South Carolina. This is our way of looking back at a great, long weekend of competitive ballooning and remembering our fallen heroes over Memorial Day.
If you're in a hurry, save this one for later as it takes about 9 minutes. Want to relax and let your imagination soar? Maybe come up with that next brilliant idea that will change the world or at least your small part? Then, welcome aboard!
Soft landings, always.
Emotion is powerful. It's universal and yet, unique to humans. More importantly, it's the strongest driver of consumer behavior after our primary needs.
When consumers connect their personal desires and aspirations to brands, they become emotionally connected. It's a strong bond and hard for competitors to shake. They buy more, pay more, advocate more and stay longer.
Building an authentic emotional connection is what most drives gains in business outcomes - pricing power, increased loyalty and higher customer profitability. Across every consumer-facing industry (and yes, business to business too), emotional connection is the strongest driver of business results.
A well designed and executed hot air balloon program can make an unforgettable, deep, and positive emotional connection with your brand with lasting bottom line value.
Connect with us today to discuss making an investment in emotional connections with your customers, consumers and prospects.
Every business owner enjoys introducing a promising new hire. I am no different. Our newest team member is an expert in social media activation and loves creating conversations with our clients' customers and prospects.
This outstanding pro is also a heavyweight in the world of branding and knows how to generate massive gross impressions while astounding clients with an impressive CPM. Adept and creating unique opportunities in the sales promotion space, we believe our clients will more than pleased with the sampling and conversion opportunities this player can bring to the table.
We have high expectations as well for creating unique opportunities to engage with our clients' key customers that will create deep, lasting relationships - a critical skillset in today's competitive market environment.
And as with every member of our team, we expect to have fun and to interact with those who are so important to our business and the business of our clients.
I have lofty goals for this new member of the Hot Air Marketing family. We aren't big on titles around here but we have made an exception in this case. Please welcome our new director of branding, social media activation, customer engagement, client sales promotion, and kid smile creation - Papa Red.
As marketing professionals will do, we gather round the television for the "Big Game" on a cold winter's night (used to be on a Sunday in January... you know the one) to enjoy the game, and of course, the slate of new ads from the greatest brand-agency minds on the planet. It's a tradition. For many, it's the night of the "Big Ads" with a little football intermingled to break up the suspense.
In my first agency experience, we would gather the Monday morning for an informal mimosa-heavy breakfast meeting (think hair of the dog) to talk about our favorite ads and debate the lasting consumer appeal, brand engagement and the like. Of course, this was back in the days when the internet was new and the "second and third screens" were still a glimmer in the eyes of those working feverishly to downsize cell phones from bricks to something a much easier to carry.
Fast forward to this year's collection of concepts. I do so with new tools and the ability to read first hand the thinking from among the greatest minds in brand development - David Sable, CEO at Y&R Advertising - while enjoying my protein shake (yes, the times have changed). I caught his take from his LinkedIn article "Super GMOOT Bowl".
Mr. Sable presents an interesting and well thought take on his personal "Big Game" experience as this was his fourth time in attendance with what he called, "...this piece of Americana and sportsmanship."
His focus was on how the advertisers got lost along the way. Sable asserts that advertisers this time around were too focused on extending the ads in attempt to get them to jump to the second screen - as he puts it they, "traded content for clicks." This year, many advertisers engaged in an ill fated social media strategy to somehow garner more engagement by releasing their ads via social media. Advertisers wanted the share via social channels before all of us got to enjoy the common, shared human experience of the game.
And, that was the real hidden genius in Mr. Sable's piece. I loved how he talked passionately about his experience. He even enjoyed the experience of paying "$14, not including the mustard" for a pretzel simply because it was part of his experience. The experience he shared with the 80,000 people in attendance at the game.
I agree with Mr. Sable. The strategy fell flat. Remember, the great value placing the ad on that special TV watching day - anticipation and a shared human experience. An enormous captive audience is waiting to see what the new collection of brilliant ads would look like. For a huge portion of the audience, this is the only football game they'll watch the entire year. And, yet the advertisers put the pretty red delivery wagon in front of the Clydesdales so to speak. I don't want to see the bride's dress until she's coming down the aisle.
My experience was like the millions of other viewers at home. I had my warm fire going, a few friends and my family with plenty of snacks that my doctor wouldn't approve of - all rallied around the tube. The game was secondary to the commentary and conversation. But a hush fell when the spot breaks aired. We anticipated and then, the disruption of a friend blurting out, "oh yeah, I saw this the other day, not very good..." Dude, you just ruined my game day fun! Haven't these guys heard the concept of spoiler alert?
Irrespective of what your critique of the quality of the ads this year the failure, I submit, was the execution: they delivered the surprise out of sequence. The advertisers robbed the consumer of the authentic experience that's part of the "Big Game." Likely, they were full of good intentions thinking that it would somehow extend the investment by reducing the CPM via increased reach and frequency.
They got it bass-ackwards... Wrap the social media marketing strategy and public relations messaging around the perimeter of the experience. Your audience has been bombarded over its lifetime with myriad messages - most of which aren't very thoughtful or creative - and thus ring hollow on the authenticity scale. The consumer gets it. They don't mind being sold - just do it with some appreciation for the shared human experience or event that got you there in the first place.
Leave our consumer experiences to themselves. To the best of your ability, be present in their lives but on the perimeter - inviting them to engage if they so choose. Where possible, create platforms in the context of the shared experience that will give the consumer/customer a reason to have a more permanent, deep relationship with your brand. Authentically participate in the lives of the consumer. In short, stop selling, get real and connect. The sharing will happen organically.
Respect the experience and they will LOVE you. Then, watch your brand really take off.
...the bottom line is that most people agree that, with a few exceptions, this crop of Super Bowl ads is pretty lackluster. The ideas are less about what’s right for the brand than whether the work is something that can “go viral.” They traded content for clicks. And settled for headlines, which are fleeting, rather than brand stories, which can be enduring. So in the end, the GMOOT template of obligatory cute animals, the stupid tricks and the babies add up to formulaic advertising. Dull, forgettable and no doubt ineffective. ~ David Sable, CEO Y&R Advertising from a LinkedIn post (Feb. 5, 2013)
About Hot Air Marketing...
Hot Air Marketing is a experiential public relations and community relations activation consultancy. We partner with PR agencies and their clients - or directly with brand managers to develop and execute hot air balloon themed PR campaigns throughout the region and nationally.
If you are a PR professional, brand manager, or social media guru looking for new ways to capture the hearts of your customers, we should talk.
Simply put, we utilize the power of hot air balloons as a vehicle to make memorable connections with your customers and prospects. We will help take your brand to new heights.
Learn more at www.HotAirMarketing.com - yes, we ARE full of hot air.
Hot Air Marketing is led by Brian Hoyle, a marketing strategist and a commercial hot air balloon pilot. Brian has more than 25 years experience driving revenue and brand value for the brands, clients and non-profits he's served.