TODAY

TODAY   |  May 24, 2013

Behind Jersey Shore’s signature banner planes

Summer doesn’t really arrive in the Jersey Shore until you see the season’s staple: planes flying banners across the sky. NBC’s Katy Tur goes behind the scenes to see how one company gets those banners off the ground.

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>> us. hannah, matt, thank you. congratulations.

>> keep painting the big cahunas.

>> we bring in nbc's katy tur and you're going to talk about the ubiquitous flying planes with the banner.

>> the banner planes go back and forth, advertise everything from verizon cell phone service to lobster specials and if you've seen them you probably wonder how in the world they pick those banners up. it's a lot cooler than you could possibly imagine. it's not the waves in the ocean or the crowds at the beach. along the jersey shore , summer isn't really here until you see this.

>> if i don't see them, i say something's missing.

>> it's the way of life .

>> reporter: loud, low tech and effective. banner planes are a sure summer staple.

>> we've had restaurants where we run a lobster special and they tell us to stop flying because they're sold out already.

>> reporter: matt applegate owns aerial signs north, he's been flying the piper cubs since he was 13. mesmerized by what was once his grandfather's business.

>> the banner part, the way we come in, it's like you almost shouldn't be allowed to do this. it's so much fun. we're coming in with grapple and hook and diving down and grabbing a loop and a rope six feet high off the ground.

>> reporter: first they hook up the letters.

>> you got it, look at that.

>> reporter: they unfurl the whole sign in the field and finally the tricky part. it's a delicate process. he has to come down, not hit the ground, pick up the yellow rope between the two blue sticks, essentially an upside down game of limbo, watch. the method hasn't really changed in 50 years and it's maybe even the only one that doesn't seem like it will ever need to.

>> we have a captive audience, they're relaxed, enjoying, happy, the best time to get into someone's mind.

>> reporter: now that we have you captive and relaxed how about this for a memorial day welcome. it was quite a banner. like everybody else around here they sustained some damage during the storm but like everyone else they picked themselves up, brushed themselves off and believe this will be the best summer ever.

>> now i won't take them for granted.

>> great way to learn about drink specials they're always up