What do hot air balloons, Paddington Bear, and Santa Claus all have in common? Forty years ago, they were all featured in a creative ad campaign for Paddington Station!
In 1981, Paddington won a Silver Plaque industry award for outstanding programs and displays. The promotion “Up, Up, and Away” celebrated then-owner Judy Patterson’s special talent and unique passion. In addition to being a talented businesswoman, she was also a licensed hot air balloonist and even had her own balloon. That year, she attached a large logo for the store to the side of the balloon, and it could be seen every time she flew over the valley!
At Christmas, the balloon starred in all holiday advertising and the shop’s front window featured a life-size Santa in a balloon basket. A holiday mailing kicked off the season, inviting customers to a preview. It noted that the door prize for the day would be a champagne flight for two in Judy’s hot air balloon.
To top it all off, the store shot a 30-second commercial with Judy dressed as Santa flying the balloon. She recalls that it was difficult to see out of the mask and she was worried that the beard would catch fire from the propane gas!! Luckily, the promotions were a hit and brought people from miles around to see Santa in “his” hot air balloon. Business was boosted by 15% over the previous year!