Appliances Online has taken its marketing efforts to a whole new level – quite literally.
The online retailer of electrical goods has branded and launched its own blimp.
Built by the Van Wagner Airship Group, the Appliances Online blimp will be illuminated from inside by two 1000 watt lightbulbs, making it highly visible during night flights. At 39m long and 11m wide, it is the largest and only blimp flying in the Southern hemisphere.
Appliances Online CEO and founder, John Winning, says that as well as flying the flag for Appliances Online, the blimp represents the company’s optimism about the future of retail.
“It’s an exciting time for retailers and the Appliances Online Legendary Blimp symbolises our confidence in the Australian economy and our dedication to pushing boundaries to reach new heights as an Australian retailer,” said Winning.
“Having recently won a world retail award for Best Customer Experience of the year, we’ve proved the standard of our customer service is at a world high; we really do go above and beyond for our customers.”
In time, there will be opportunities for members of the public to travel in the Appliances Online blimp.
“The Appliances Online Legend Blimp is similar to an airplane. It has aircraft engines on each side, and is flown by professional pilots supported by a full ground crew. When flying, the Appliances Online Blimp Crew meets passengers at the airport, provides them with a comfortable seat for their flight, landing securely on the Lightship’s single-point landing gear after their trip,” Winning said.
The blimp usually travels at an average of 30mph, but has gone as fast as 57mph in a tailwind. With a strong headwind it’s nearly stationary: it has flown as slow as 1mph before.
Unlike a hot air balloon, a blimp is never deflated. When on the ground it is tethered to a special mooring mast erected at the airfield. When it relocates to other cities, it flies,with a trip from Melbourne to Sydney taking around a week.
5 facts about the Appliances Online blimp
• Is the size of 3 school buses end to end
• Uses less fuel in two weeks than a 747 does on the runway
• The helium inside would fill 136,000 party balloons
• Is never deflated, and when on the ground it is monitored by ground crew 24 hours a day
• Flies at an average speed of 30mph, but can travel faster if it has a tailwind, and slower if it has a headwind.