|PH-ASF 'Big Sister'
Balloons are excellent advertising objects, and if your great passion is flying them, you inevitably get involved in designing an advertising balloon for someone. I designed this balloon, together with my brother Marc who was my crew chief at the time, for contact lens manufacturer Microlens. That was quite a while ago, and she has been mothballed for years, but it was a fun design, wasn't it? I flew that balloon carrying opticians (clients), employees and promoting opticians by means of rapidly interchangeable banners on the lower part of the envelope.
Running a hot-air balloon for publicity is not easy. It involves a lot of organisation (consider take-off permits for weird locations and during large public events, and selecting the proper ballooning events such as fiestas and competitions to participate in; and the small avalanche of technical paperwork that goes with running an aircraft). And the balloon never comes alone; it is always part of an advertising or promotional campaign. It helps to make maximum use of a balloon when the pilot has some understanding not only of flying the thing, but also of communications.
As for flying it: better get a good pilot. Crashing a balloon is very bad publicity.