Yearly, spring marks the one week migration of college students to the beaches of Florida and Texas for their annual break from the books. This year an estimated 2.5 to 3 million will be basking in the sun on the beaches. They will not only spent plenty of money during that week, but they also represent $125-$130 billion dollars in spending power during the year. How that kind of money will be spent is yet to be determined, based on the skill of effective advertising aimed at them.
Many are taking their ad directly to the students in the form of an aerial banner or billboard ad. Aerial advertising is well known. A company or individual hires a plane to pull a banner displaying their message. Some banners are as long as 70 feet; they will usually display contact information such as a webpage or phone number. (Billboard aerial ads are like highway billboards only they are flown over the people instead of people driving by.) Most merchants subscribe to a flight duration of one to two hours. It is estimated that the banner is visible for about 17 seconds during each pass. How many times could the idle students read that ad if it passed by, say, 20 times? By the time an hour is up, your message will be imprinted in their brains.
Students relax and try to stop thinking deep thoughts during this week. It is a week of vacation and they have planned to spend money. As they lie on the beach, an airplane flies overhead, catching their attention. They look up and see your ad pulled behind the plane. Your company is immediately far ahead of the competition in reaching this market.
The items or services offered in the aerial ads could be for something they will want to buy when they return to college. On the other hand, many of the ads are for items they will need immediately, like ads for restaurants or clothing. Here is a wonderful chance to impact one of the largest gatherings of impulsive buyers during the whole year.
With the economy is shambles and unemployment high, many advertisers are cutting back. Instead, exploit this opportunity as a week of profit. The spring break students aren’t thinking about the economy or even the future. They just want to have some fun, regardless of the cost. One tourism expert calls them “recession-proof” since they probably aren’t going to cut their expenses for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
Modern electronic technology makes the selling even quicker. One merchant says he has his phone number on the banner and, almost immediately, he is being texted with orders. Others use G3 networks to order things on the Internet. The cost of the advertising is returned quickly and profits follow.
Another advantage of aerial ads is that they can be timeless. An advertiser could pay the full amount for a banner and flight this year. When it is over, the banner can be stored and used again next year. Some might even want their banner flown during another week or in a different location. The banners are well made and will last a long time.
Many despair that the economy is bad and it will affect us all. Opportunists are, instead, using aerial advertising to make a profit on the huge crowd that will storm the beaches of Florida and Texas this March.