CORPORATE BALLOON PROGRAMS
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Thermogas, a Midwest distributor of propane liked our idea for a promotion based on a world record flight, particulary because hot air balloons are fueled with propane. We were confident we could set a record for time aloft so the company purchased the balloon and created a contest for customers to guess what the new, record time would be. Whoever guessed closest to the actual flight time would win not only a years supply of propane, but also various "propane related products," (as Hank Hill, of "King of the Hill" likes to say). In the Spring of 1973, the balloon and pilot Tom Oerman visited Dealer Open Houses to promote the company and the contest. Finally, on November 28th the record attempt was made from corporate headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. The launch began a good two hours before sunrise to allow time to set a new record and get down before sunset. Late in the afternoon, about forty-five minutes after crossing the Mississippi River near Keokuk, Iowa the landing was made near Mindale, Illinois. A new world record for time aloft in an AX-6 balloon was set at 9 hours, 32 minutes. The next day, we learned the burners caused the balloon to glow brightly in the early morning darkness and created Flying Saucer roports throughout the city of Des Moines!
The Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn Balloon was the first successful, special=shaped balloon. We worked closely with the public relations agency, Daniel J. Edelman, so that every flight was a media windfall. The first tether flight was on the ball field of Cominsky Park in Chicago between a White Sox double header. It was "Orville Redenbacher Day," and the game started with Orville throwing out a pop corn ball!
This picture was taken just before the Maiden Free-Flight at the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While we were there, a very short film of the balloon was made for distribution to TV stations throughtout the country. The movie received so much exposure that the agency won a Golden Trumpet Award for the effort. The balloon was also flown at Disneyland and Disneyworld when the brand was named "The Official Popcorn Of Disney".
For information on balloon promotions in New Jersey, regionally or nationally use our contact page or call us at: 908-534-5220