Falcons Vs. Blackbirds

by Nicole Branigan on October 21, 2009 · 2 comments

The differences in legitimate information and fad marketing.

Balloon Boy

I don’t need to introduce Falcon Heene, the young boy who was carried away (but not really) by the giant balloon his father built. Question and speculations have arisen as this story continues (and won’t stop continuing) to unfold. Was he in the balloon? Was he hiding? Did his parents plan the whole thing? Why do we all care?

If it was up to me, I would put a lid on the entire thing, for its ridiculousness and overexposure. However, what strikes me is how easy it has been for media outlets to push this entire thing, due in part to the coined name “Balloon Boy.”

How freakin’ catchy is that?! It’s like Bubble Boy without Jake Gyllenhaal and Astro Boy without the suck. I envision covers of magazines and action figures to follow suit. Movie execs are foaming at the mouth cover story writers are chomping at the bit in a mixed up realm where men, women and children actually care about this crap!

So what is the moral of this overly peeled onion? There are a few lessons that can be learned from Balloon Boy such as:

    • Find your marketing niche and exploit it, but back this up with a solid business model and information that readers, followers and prospects CARE about.
    • Force consumers to ask questions about your business/products and create intrigue surrounding your company.
    • Expose yourself to the masses, and unabashedly be yourself.
    • Provide your followers with valuable information, that will sustain them long after Balloon Boy is auditioning for a VH1 reality show. Consistently provide useful knowledge about your business, your industry and your company.

Before long, Balloon Boy and his whacked out clan will be but a blurb on a marketing blog. Make sure your business isn’t.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gina October 21, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Great piece!


jarid October 21, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Literally forcing yourself into the spotlight works for a lot of people. That said, there are plenty of sneaky, and more legal, ways to get yourself noticed on a large scale. Sticking you kid on a balloon, built in your garage out of plastic bags, was a ridiculously genius move on that guys part. He got noticed, he has got cameras in his face all day, his kids hate him (or him, them) and hes in a heap of shit.
If only that balloon had some sort of dark bird painted on the side of it…


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