Inside creatives’ Barry Chuckle-inspired, Richard Branson-realised hot air balloon flight

Holly Hunter and Miriam Pick, two Watford Advertising students currently interning across London, have accomplished a double act challenge (set by none other than Barry Chuckle) of flying in an air balloon, thanks to a guerrilla poster campaign, a few emails from The Drum and a Virgin Balloon flight donated by Sir Richard Branson himself.

The two took off from St Albans in the early hours of last Friday (25 August). Holz and Miz, as their creative partnership is known, came dressed as pigeons in homage to the original illustration that featured on their campaign posters.

The duo began their journey after deciding to present at the Monday morning meeting of Anomaly, the agency they were based at earlier this summer. They came up with the idea of doing a presentation on double acts as, according to Hunter, “none of our friends outside the advertising industry ever understands what we do and what creative partners are”.

After tweeting legendary duos on Twitter, Barry "Baz" Chuckle got back to them suggesting: “Why not fly an air balloon?” They flyered London with pictures of a pigeon-like Sir Richard Branson in order to catch the attention of the mogul who, among other things, is the owner of Virgin Balloons.

The Drum put the two in touch with Branson’s team, which subsequently organised the flight and a personal reply from the businessman.

"I would say to new creative teams to always have fun together because when you’re having fun you’re doing the best work,” said Hunter post-balloon flight, when asked what the duo had learned from their experience.

The bizarre adventures of Holz and Miz don’t look to be over yet. Pick explained: “We have been set our next double act challenge by Richard Branson, which is to play in a doubles tennis tournament together. So that will probably be our next step, along with getting a job.

“That would also be good.”

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Katie Deighton

Katie Deighton is The Drum’s senior reporter - creative and video based in London. She produces, films, presents and edits the title’s editorial video output, including series such as On The Scene, Ad Breakers and Why I Left Advertising, and manages its coverage of the creative sector. She also reports on the intersection between politics and marketing, as well as the third sector and fashion.

All by Katie