When you hear the world ‘flag’ you probably think of national symbols and state flags. You might be picturing your favourite one right now, whether it represents your citizenship or your preferred sports team. In the advertising world, there are different types of flags. They include buntings, balis, feathers, teardrops, drapes, car flags, hand flags, and shop front flags. Each category has its own moment to shine, and you can mix and match them according to your needs. How do you know the best option for you?
The eye-catching quality of flags is best seen as they flap in the wind. They give off an arresting display of colour that holds your attention as you try to figure out what the flag is and who it represents. If you’re advertising in a windy area (or if you can get a big enough fan) then flapping flags work to great effect. Fabric flags are best for this purpose – preferably polyester – because vinyl and canvas don’t respond as easily to moving air. So, if your event is at an outdoor venue, you definitely want polyester banners.
You can also use them if your event is in a room with vaulted ceilings. The indoor ventilation is a mix of air conditioners and fans, so your flags will definitely fly. They will crowd the space and make it stuffy though, so maybe use miniature shop front flags instead. They’re usually done in paper, but you can order them in polyester. You can erect pole flags that line the roads leading to your venue. Even on a calm day, the speed of cars and drivers will make your promotional flags twirl.
For daytime events with lots of sunlight, soft fabric flags are a great idea. Even if it gets a little dull or cloudy, bright flags will still help. Their hues and tones can set the mood and keep spirits up. Polyester can also withstand rain without getting droopy or saggy, because it’s not particularly absorbent. However, as the sunlight fades, even if the evening wind picks up, your flags will lose visibility. If you want them to be seen at night, you’ll probably need to place spotlights on them, which is an additional expense.
So if you have an evening event, you may want to lower your flags and go for something glossy instead. During the day, glare can be a problem, because it can reduce the legibility of your flags. But in the dark, the glossy vinyl or canvas surface will catch any hints of light, drawing eyes to their message. Some vinyl banners come with stands that have convenient slots for backlights. These lights are frequently part of the package, so it’s not necessarily an extra cost. You can use lights and vinyl flags with great results at your night-time show.
It may seem silly to ask what your flags are for … (advertising duh!) But promotions take different forms. You may want your guests and customers to know where the event is, in which case directional flags work really well. Along the sides of the road – as we’ve mentioned – polyester flags are great. You can attach them to street poles and customised masts. They’re not easy to read though, so their messages will largely be pictorial. It could be a badge, emblem, icon, logo, or coat of arms. However, you do need some kind of messaging.
Teardrop flags are more effective for messaging. They’re narrow, so you can’t put a lot of text on them, but your copywriter can whittle the wording down to essentials. Line the pathway with a series of teardrops that say what, where, and when. This guides attendants who are bad with directions, but it also invites passers-by who may be unfamiliar with your event or brand. You can use feather flags too. Cars driving by will make them spin, so print both sides.
The most straightforward type of flags is bunting flags. They’re colourful little fabrics, frequently triangular but not always. You’ll have seen them marking the finish line at a race, or cordoning off spectators to keep them off the track. You can find other uses for them too. Because they’re so light and simple, you can buy them in bulk, string them up, and use them to line a path several kilometres long.
In that sense, they can be directional, creating a ‘breadcrumb’ trail to your booth or stand. You can even have letters printed on them. Each flag can hold a single letter or icon, so it can make a little scavenger map, guiding your prospects through the massive maze of your trade fair or cultural festival, and helping them find you. Plus, when they finish ‘visiting’ with you, the buntings will guide them out again.