Chapter 4

Banner Drop

What is it? 

A simple media stunt to get attention for your cause by hanging a large banner somewhere prominent, or taking it on a protest.

How do you do it?

  1. Work out your message

Your banner should communicate your campaign message in a short and succinct way. It needs to be instantly understood. Humour and satire is always helpful.

  1. Pick your location

Decide where your banner will have the greatest impact, while considering the security and safety of the operation. 

If you’re targeting a business or government, you might want to drop your banner in front of, or on, one of their buildings. Make sure that everything is secure and you do not endanger anyone by your action. For example, a piece of cloth can be removed by the wind and end up on cars or in the street; a wooden sign can drop and hurt people; you could be injured while placing your banner. Be extra careful!

  1. Research the legality

In most cases, carrying or dropping banners is not against the law. But it’s best to check. If your banner harms someone, you will be legally responsible. You might want to get your action approved and potentially buy insurance. You could also consider making your banner with paper and gluing it to the wall you have selected. This is environmentally friendlier and some cities have designated spaces for banners and posters. 

  1. Make your banner
  • Choose your materials – do you want to use scaffolding mesh and strong spray adhesive to stick on letters, or just paint on cotton cloth?
  • Make a sketch first with pencil, before you go in with paint or glue.
  • When making banners to take on a protest, keep it light, attach poles, and cut in small holes so the wind can blow through it, making you more stable.
  1. Drop your banner

Take plenty of rope and cable ties to attach it, and attach weights to the bottom. These can simply be bottles of water. Weights make sure your banner hangs straight down. 

Stay safe – make sure none is walking or is going to walk, drive, bike, stroll etc under the banner itself. If you are not sure about the safety of the operation, consider gluing a paper banner rather than dropping it.

  1. Take your own pictures

Share them on social media and in your press release.

Why and when should you use it? 

Banner drops attract attention to your cause at a strategic moment when you want to build public support and pressure decision makers. They can accompany a protest, a vote or act as a visible response to a big news event.

Works best in combination with: 

A protest, to get a good clear image of your message, and with a press release to share the picture and your story widely. 

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Here are some useful links