The nature of sponsorships is always two-fold; a sponsor provides you with funding or other resources in exchange for promoting their brand in some way. Netball WA had such an arrangement with pain relief brand Better Nature, and commissioned an inflatable product tube for carnivals and netball tournament events throughout Western Australia.
Here at Inflatable Anything, we find joy in doing our part to help businesses uniquely engage with their target audiences, and we couldn’t wait to get started on this project!
This project was a tad bit unique in that not only were we collaborating with the sport’s club, but ultimately we were also collaborating with their sponsor, who liaised together for much of the process. The concept was pretty straight-forward: they wanted the client’s mascot, Fifi the dragon, to be able to carry around a large product replica. We have heaps of experience creating this type of unit, yet we still ran into a few obstacles designing the inflatable product tube.
The product they wanted us to turn into a giant inflatable product tube was shaped quite differently from what we’re used to. Instead of a bottle, jar, or even a carton, said product came in a squeeze tube. The bottom of the product replica would be no problem for our team of professionals to create, but the top of it had a tapered effect that took a bit of planning.
This work definitely keeps us on our toes!
As far as the design of this inflatable product tube, the client wanted to keep it as simple as possible while still staying true to their sponsor’s branding. Instead of our typical offerings of CMYK four colour printing or spot printing in layers, we all agreed that a pantone colour-matching method would best capture the brand- it actually has an even wider variety of options, and the sponsor’s branding called for a pantone, or classic, blue anyway. The logo was easy enough to recreate on this inflatable product tube, but before dealing with all that, we had to come to an agreement on which material would best meet all their needs.
Since the inflatable product tube was to be carried around by a naturally animated and energetic mascot, there were a few features that we absolutely had to make sure were included, part of which practically picked the material for us. The replica had to be portable, meaning we had to create the unit either with internal blowers running on a battery, which adds significant weight, or the option we normally use for large replicas: welded PVC.
Obviously, the superior option was the latter. By using heat to weld together the seams of the polyvinyl chloride panels, you can create a bond strong enough that air will only very rarely leak through, and even then, it’s an extremely easy fix with the right equipment. Apart from the strength of the seams, this plastic polymer is one of our most durable options in part thanks to its resistance to chemicals, puncture, and flames. To the relief of the person wearing the Fifi suit, the polyvinyl chloride material we use is relatively lightweight.
To further accommodate this mascot, we also attached a sort of hand strap to the inflatable product tube so it was more manageable while they worked their tail off hyping up the crowds at these different events. The placement of the valve on this 1 metre high and 40 centimetres wide unit was kept low near the “cap” as well so it wouldn’t get in the way, all the while discreetly kept out of view of the audiences. For assurance purposes, for our company, Netball WA, and the sponsor, included with this replica was an engineering certificate. We had to make sure our product would perfectly align with their expectations; at this point, it’s what’s expected of us!
Inflatable Anything very apparently hit this inflatable product tube right over the fence and out of the park. The product worked very well for the mascot, and both the client and the sponsor were stoked about how realistic it turned out. Not to mention, Fifi had some great fun advertising the brand and the product at several events after the initial one.
We pride ourselves on giving every single client the absolute best customer service we can. Call our team of professionals today to see just how far we’ll go to bring your idea to life!
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