The other morning as I was pulling out of my driveway, I looked over to the South and saw two huge, colorful hot air balloons floating in the sunshine. I impulsively hit the brakes and just sat there for a moment, idling, looking at this unexpected oddity. I knew what it was: a real estate company used these balloons as a giant marker pointing the way to their new subdivision.
My first thought that the real estate market, despite reports otherwise, must be promising enough to warrant the promotional attempt—or maybe not. Perhaps this was just one last-ditched effort on the agents’ part to draw would-be buyers into their lair.
As I started driving off, my second thought was, “Damn, it’s wonderful when marketing is magical.”
The thought itself nearly made me slam on my brakes again. I’ve been a marketer all my life and yet have ignored that marketing at its very best, can actually seem magical when it strikes the right person at the right time.
For whatever reason, I needed those balloons that morning. I was half-asleep, it was the beginning of what I knew would be a long work week, with meetings at work, and obligations after work, and the start of several large projects. Those balloons reminded me that life is full of beauty and the unexpected, and if I want to get through the day feeling creative and energetic, I need to remember that.
Now. . . did I go over and buy a new home? Hell no. Is a balloon enough of a powerful statement to persuade anyone to buy a home? No, but it’s daylight’s equivalent of the Sunset Boulevard flood light marking a red carpet event. It’s one that is more welcoming and more peaceful, too: great feelings to invoke if you are trying to entice a would-be homebuyer.
As I went about my work that day, crafting a press release, ghost-writing some speeches, and fine-tuning a social media strategy, I kept thinking back to those balloons, and the feeling I had pulling out of the driveway. I don’t expect that every single thing I work on needs a Balloons-in-the-Morning moment, but when there is the opportunity for it, I hope to seize it.
Whether it is marketing, writing, or whatever it is we do with our work, we need our own personal moments like this. And when we can be responsible for giving those moments to someone else, it’s even better. We’ve created magic, and, hey, creating magic? That’s not bad work if you can get it.