Getting someone's attention in this day and age is hard. One way to do it big, though, is with an airplane banner - a banner attached to an airplane that shows a message.
Named after Overly Long Gag, this is where the "gag" is that the "airplane banner" is "overly long", such that they need a second airplane to complete the thought. The second banner is sometimes only one or two words long.
It's also possible to use this trope with paragraphs of skywriting.
This can overlap with Cue Card Pause.
- Described in a GEICO radio ad — the GEICO Gecko and the Boss read the banners as they go by. The Gecko thinks it's a bit much.
- The notorious anti-smoking group Truth once put out a Public Service Announcement with an airplane flying along a beach, with a banner in tow asking about what additives are put in cigarettes. What follows is an entire fleet of additional planes with even more banners listing off dozens of the 599 additives that are evidently added to the tobacco.
- An advert for Go Compare [an insurance comparison website] features the annoying Tenor attempting to secure his job despite the fact nobody likes him. He sets up one of these; only the website compares so much he needed another plane to finish the last word. It's about as funny as it sounds.
- The Brothers Solomon has this gag, and wins for having the longest one ever. It goes beyond ridiculous, beyond Narm, and on into stupefied "I can't believe how long this is going on and on with redundant crap in an airline banner. This is stupid!". But, of course, the protagonists are clueless, and it is a comedy. It's an important part of plot twists before the finale.
- The Night Court episode "Constitution" actually does it without an airplane. Bull puts up a "Welcome Home Roz" banner that runs the entire length to the courtroom: 18 floors.
- Les Nessman has problems with one of these in the famous turkey-drop episode of WKRP in Cincinnati.
Les Nessman: It says, "Happy......... Thanks......... giving......... from W......... K......... R........................ P!"
- This Red and Rover comic.
- Family Guy: Neil sends a message to Meg via airplane banner.
First plane: Meg, I am your destiny. Love, Neil. Also, have you seen my good pen? I feel like I loaned it to you in physics, but I haven't seen it in a
Second plane: while.