Fly the Branded Skies

Keep Climbing

Nearly a year and a half after hiring Wieden + Kennedy as its agency of record, Delta has finally broken a new campaign under the tagline “Keep Climbing.” The launch television spot started airing in New York on Friday:

The campaign reminds me a little bit of “United is Rising” from the late 1990s. Both campaigns are driven by a tacit admission that flying on the airline advertised is not always an entirely pleasant experience. Here, the tagline isn’t “Cruising along at 35,000 feet.” It’s “Keep climbing.” Delta accepts that it has some work to do.

This is a nice manifesto spot. It’s the kind of spot that is really the preamble from the pitch presentation set to images and music and read by Donald Sutherland. But it does its job well, and I love the analogy of taking off into the wind. Personally, I wish that had been the core of the spot—it could have used a little more focus.

Ultimately, though, the launch is going to matter a lot less than the follow-up. It’s not enough for Delta to say they will prove they’re building a better airline. They actually have to prove it. This spot sets the stage; the advertising that comes after it will have to get into specifics. And, frankly, Delta’s service will actually have to “keep climbing” to make people believe it.

All in all, a nice start, and I can’t wait to see what comes next. What do you think?