A "Handy" takes off


There are very few people who are not fascinated by the sight of a hot air balloon sailing across the sky. They will soon be truly amazed when the cult Migros product "bottle" floats over their heads instead of a classic balloon.

An advertising tool with cult potential

It took just six months after its initial presentation for the 35-metre tall, bottle-shaped balloon to make its maiden flight. The original idea came from Mifa AG sales employee and balloon pilot Stefan Wälchli. "After our cult Handy washing-up liquid had already starred in the "Von uns. Von hier" ("From us. From here") campaign, it was pretty obvious, as balloons are so popular", according to Stefan Wälchli. A range of preliminary work, such as sketches and clarification of the technical details, was carried out, followed by negotiations with one of just five hot-air balloon makers in the world. Actual production, which involved sewing the balloon envelope, weaving the basket and installing the technical equipment, took around four months. The 35-metre height came from the requirement to be able to carry three people plus the pilot. Luigi Pedrocchi, Mibelle Group CEO is convinced of the new balloon's positive impact. "Both hot-air balloons and our washing-up liquid have cult status. Combining them generates maximum sympathy for and attention to our product."

Mobile for the Mibelle Group

The maiden flight on 15 April showed just what a positive reaction the public has to the flying washing-up liquid bottle. The next day a local Basel newspaper featured a reader's letter with the photo caption "A Handy bottle over the motorway!" Both Stefan Wälchli and Luigi Pedrocchi are hoping for a nice summer with good ballooning weather. The Handy balloon is sure to be the star of many events, as well as giving private passenger flights and taking part in ballooning meetings.

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