Understanding Blimp Advertising | Light Signs, Lightships & More

December 25, 2014

Understanding Blimp Advertising | Light Signs, Lightships & More featured image


In 1852, Henri Giggard built the first gas-filled propeller powered airship. In 1890, Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin invented the first rigid airship. And in 1925, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company began building airships of the blimp design – the ones we are familiar with today. In the early years, the Goodyear blimps were used primarily for advertising and military purposes. Following 1962, blimps were no longer utilized in military operations and became the advertising powerhouses we see today.

Some of the world’s biggest advertisers have chosen airship advertising as their primary marketing vehicle. But why did they choose blimp advertising? How did they decide blimp advertising was right for them? These are common questions we aim to answer here.

Van Wagner Airship Group has been in the airship production and advertising business for over 25 years. We have helped orchestrate some of the greatest blimp advertising campaigns in the world and are considered the industry experts in blimp advertising. Putting together an airship advertising campaign is like a puzzle, we help our clients identify their main objectives and then design integrated campaigns to help them achieve them.

Benefits of Blimp Advertising Include:

– Brand Awareness
– Sales Increase
– Corporate Hospitality
– Sponsorship Activation
– Earned Media Generation
– Passenger Rides
– Philanthropy or Community Involvement
– TV Broadcast Integration
– Social Media Integration

If your campaign objectives are aligned with the blimp advertising benefits listed above, an airship might be a good choice for your brand. Next, you need to decide which markets are right for your blimp advertising campaign.

Geographical location:

– International
– Nationwide
– Regional
– Local
– Time of year determines schedule options

Are you a regional brand looking to raise brand awareness? Or, are you a national brand looking to saturate certain markets? Van Wagner Airship Group is the only blimp provider capable of putting together large-scale airship campaigns. MetLife, for example, has two blimps in the United States, Snoopy 1 and Snoopy 2, and also has a presence in Japan with the airship Snoopy J. Whether you’re looking to launch a local, regional, national, or international airship advertising campaign – we’ve got you covered. Of course, the campaign type will determine the length of contract. We offer: 


– Long-term
– Short-term
– One-off hits

For the best advertising value, and to see the return on investment you are looking for, we suggest that your brand’s blimp fly a minimum of at least three months.

Next, you will need to determine what size of airship you would like to fly. Van Wagner Airship Group offers three sizing options. Our largest blimp, the A-170LS, includes a 70ft X 30ft color LED video screen pictured below on the DIRECTV blimp. All of our ships are referred to as “lightships,” this simply means that they have internal illumination allowing for visibility at night. We are one of the only blimp providers in the world that offers lightship capabilities.

Size of blimp:

– A-60+
o 130ft long
o 68,000 cu ft volume
o 2-3 passengers

– A-150
o 165ft long
o 150,000 cu ft volume
o 6-7 passengers

– A-170LS
o 178ft long
o 170,000 cu ft volume
o 4 passengers
o 70ft x 30ft full color LED video screen (Lightsign) on one side

If you have any questions about Van Wagner Airship Group or any of our airship advertising capabilities, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. If you think your brand is right for a blimp campaign, click below for a free quote! One of our representatives will get back to you as soon as possible.