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Mightiest Icon of the Real Estate Industry
A company image seven stories tall. Multiply that by more than 120 and you have one of the largest fleets of hot air balloons in the world. Across North America and increasingly around the globe, the red, white and blue balloons emblazoned with the RE/MAX logo participate in balloon meets, highlight charitable and business promotions, and drift above athletic events.
And as the size of the fleet continues to grow, images of the tricolor RE/MAX Balloon logo multiply through every visual form of real estate advertising and promotion. The RE/MAX Balloon, its logo form, and the accompanying "Above the Crowd!" slogan are equated in the public mind with the RE/MAX organization.
The First RE/MAX Balloon
Admittedly, when RE/MAX began its relationship with hot air ballooning on Oct. 8, 1978, the motivation was pretty straightforward: As a fledgling real estate network we needed a real estate marketing image that would get noticed.
Just five years old at the time, RE/MAX already held more real estate market share in Denver, the network's birthplace, than any competitor. Word of mouth was spreading fast about the network of highly experienced real estate agents who were proving to be more productive and knowledgeable than anyone else on the scene.
But market studies showed that among consumers in general, name recognition of RE/MAX ranked well below many lesser competitors
Meanwhile, in New Mexico, a few RE/MAX agents and their regional leaders dreamed up the idea of entering a red-over-white-over blue RE/MAX Balloon in the 1978 Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. The RE/MAX ground crew wore jackets with patches that read, "Above the Crowd!", a phrase devised by an Affiliate. And as often is the case with hot air balloons, the RE/MAX Balloon really grabbed some attention. Plus, the imagery meshed perfectly with the RE/MAX network's emphasis on innovation, freedom and leadership.
RE/MAX executives in Denver enthusiastically adopted the balloon image as the corporate logo. Within a year, Colorado had its own RE/MAX Balloon, and featured it prominently in a local television campaign. Within four months, RE/MAX held top name recognition in the Denver market.
Real Estate Promotion and Advertising
Besides highlighting promotional real estate events, RE/MAX Balloons fly at all the major and minor hot air balloon meets across North America. RE/MAX Balloon pilots introduce school classes to ballooning, and couples ask to be married in the balloon.
The average RE/MAX Balloon makes 65 appearances a year, each event averaging more than an hour, for a fleet total of about 6,400 hours of advertising—equal to nearly nine months of 24-hour flying.
The network's major graphic symbol, the RE/MAX Hot Air Balloon image appears on "for sale" signs, bus benches, billboards, in print advertising and television commercials. Today, RE/MAX is one of the most recognized real estate brands and logos across the globe.