How Ryan’s World Character Red Titan Floated Into Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

As a senior-level executive with 18 years running marketing for companies such as Martha Stewart Living and Hello Sunshine, Kerry Tucker has envisioned, built and launched just about every stripe of publicity effort you could name. But there was one that had always eluded her: a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

It wasn’t simply that the department store limits the number of large character balloons to 16. And it wasn’t just the cost of the balloon itself (reportedly around $200,000 to make and another $500,000 to fill with helium, never mind the cost of insurance, handlers and all the rest). The biggest hurdle was meeting Macy’s criteria: successfully making the case that a proposed balloon will be instantly recognizable to a global audience and also suited to a family-friendly event.

“This was never a marketing opportunity that had presented itself to me,” Tucker told Adweek. “I was the CMO for Victoria’s Secret—and that balloon was never going to happen. So this was a great opportunity all around.”

The opportunity Tucker’s talking about is a deal that her current company, Pocket.Watch, recently inked with Macy’s. It will result in the parade’s newest big balloon, Red Titan who, at 51 feet long, 28 feet wide and 42 feet tall, will soar over the streets of New York next month when the store sponsors its 94th annual Thanksgiving Day fete.

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