Fly the Branded Skies

Jingle: Southwest “Lone Star Anthem” (1990)

Southwest Airlines

Listen: Southwest Airlines: “Lone Star Anthem”

I lived in Texas for two years. It’s a cliché now, but it really is a whole other country. And even now, with a route network that spans the U.S., Southwest Airlines is still that whole other country’s flag carrier.

Southwest started flying in 1971, serving only cities in Texas to avoid federal regulation and the Civil Aeronautics Board. For its 20th anniversary, the airline decided to show its appreciation to its home state by painting one of its 737s with a Texas flag and naming it “Lone Star One.”

To celebrate, GSD&M produced a commercial with a variation of the jingle above. The :30 version is below; there is also a :60 on YouTube that cannot be embedded.

Between 1981, when GSD&M was first hired by Southwest, and the mid-90s, Southwest’s advertising depended heavily on jingles. A tape released to commemorate the airline’s 25th anniversary includes 34 different songs, and there were more. They generally fell into one of four categories: a capella, hokey hoedown, standard jingle, and power ballad.

This is a power ballad, and it’s dedicated to Texas. Hard as it is to believe, the version in the TV spots is even hokier than the straight jingle included here. But though it may be hokey, it feels sincere; Texans do get a little mushy when they talk about Texas. It wouldn’t work anywhere else.

That didn’t stop Southwest from trying.

Listen: Southwest Airlines: “Arizona One Anthem”
Listen: Southwest Airlines: “California One Anthem”

Southwest’s fleet now includes planes painted to honour eight states: Texas, Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Maryland, Illinois, and Florida.

Airline: Southwest Airlines
Title: “Lone Star Anthem”
Agency: GSD&M, Austin, Texas
Written By: Tim McClure (songwriter), Richard Kooris (director)
Year: 1990


We staked our claim in Texas.
We’ve grown together, flown together,
Danced among the clouds.

We owe it all to Texas
Together now for 20 years.
It sure does make us proud.

NARRATOR: On this our 20th anniversary, Southwest Airlines proudly unfurls Lone Star One, a high-flying tribute to the indomitable spirit that makes Texas a true state of mind.

And the Lone Star is flying high!
Proud and undefeated,
Right where it belongs.

Shining in the Texas sky,
The Lone Star is flying high.

(Photo credit: Brian L. Romig)

Update (Jan. 26, 2012): Thanks very much to GSD&M for the credits, which are now included here.