The invention of local Ashburtonite and kite designer Peter Lynn, the big idea is that individual letters are joined together to form messages that can then be flown under kites, helium balloons, or cranes, strung between buildings or towed by Jetskis or boats. So, whether you hope to add some pizazz to your large corporate marketing event or add a bit of cheese to your wedding, the system is able to get messages in the air without the need for a plane.
Lynn (who also holds a Guinness World record for being designing the ‘World’s Largest Kite’) and the Air Banners team spent about one year developing the idea and devised a “scrabble set” arrangement of 1.5 metre high letters, numbers and symbols that are clearly visible from over a mile away (a typical 30 letter Air Banner measures around 60m in length or 90 sq/m in area).
Stefan Cook, the Air Banners operations manager, says the main markets for the product have been popular beach holiday destinations overseas, primarily in the Mediterranean, the US and, increasingly, Asia. And while there hasn’t been much interest from New Zealand operators, he says their expectations have been exceeded so far, with around 15 packages sold to distributors (a 105 letter pack retails for NZ$3600), and ten and 20 letter packages ($900 and $1300 respectively) aimed at smaller businesses like restaurants also proving popular.
The letters can be launched single handedly, disconnected in around 15 minutes and then stored away for the next campaign. Or, for brands and agencies, the system can also be rented.