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Let's face it: most small- and medium-sized companies don't have huge advertising budgets. Traditional media, such as print, television, and radio advertising are far too expensive. And, for those businesses that rely on walk-in traffic, Internet advertising won't reach the intended audience. Thankfully, there's another advertising medium that's incredibly effective for a variety of businesses: advertising balloons.

Advertising balloons - also known as advertising blimps and advertising inflatables - are an incredibly cost-effective method of gaining the attention of passersby and turning prospects into customers. Starting at slightly over $100, the cost of an advertising balloon can be recouped in no time at all.

There are several different types of advertising inflatables. Advertising blimps have the traditional blimp shape, but come in a variety of sizes. They are easily customizable with a company logo, special message, or unique combinations of colors. Advertising blimps can be large enough to attract attention from miles away, or small enough to catch the eye of a trade show attendee. Larger advertising blimps can even be lit at night to garner notice 24 hours a day.

Round advertising balloons are also attention-grabbers. Again, they come in all sizes and can be flown high above the ground, acting as traffic magnets for a business' location.

A business can also buy a pre-made advertising inflatable, such as one in the shape of a hot air balloon that says, "Grand Opening." Eye-catching shapes and colors are sure to attract customers. Similarly, dancing balloons (also called wind dancers) are eye-catching. Inflated with a cold air blower, dancers will delight both adults and children. However, they're generally made with a light material that doesn't hold up well in sunlight or strong wind. For that reason, a tarp should always be placed under a wind dancer.

When you order custom balloons, you first need to think through the various elements that will give your advertising balloons maximum impact. Here are attributes to consider:

Lettering: If readability is important, stay with a small number of letters on one or two lines. Determine the distance at which you want your advertising balloon to be read. For maximum impact at 30 feet, for example, letters that are three inches high will suffice. On the other hand, letters that are 12 inches high have maximum impact at 120 feet but are still readable at 525 feet.

Colors: There are specific color combinations that will give your advertising balloon more impact. Black lettering or art against a backdrop of yellow, white, or orange is the most effective, followed by blue on white, white on green, green on white, red on white, and white on red.

Like everyone else, you probably look up when you see an advertising balloon in the sky. Just imagine how much recognition you can get from your business from the relatively small investment of an advertising balloon!

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