Fly the Branded Skies

Jingle: Braniff “El Clan Braniff” (1971)

El Clan Braniff

Listen: Braniff International Airways: “El Clan Braniff”

A few seconds after my Spanish-speaking art director started listening to this, I could hear him giggling on the other side of our office. I’d asked him if he could translate this jingle for me. By the time he got to the end of the song, he was full-out laughing. And when he sent me the translation, I knew why.

This jingle is just goofy.

South and Central America had been important to Braniff since they started flying there in 1945. In 1967, Braniff completed its purchase of Panagra, which left Braniff and Pan Am as the sole U.S. carriers certificated to serve South America. In some ways, Braniff was a different airline south of Mexico; it used U.S. flight crews but local cabin crews.

But one thing North and South America had in common was the colour of Braniff’s planes. Since the mid-60s, Braniff had famously painted its planes in seven “jelly bean” colours: beige, ochre, orange, turquoise, baby blue, medium blue, lemon yellow, and lavender.

So when this jingle claims that the universe is colourful when you fly Braniff, and that Braniff’s colour is love, well… I guess that’s what they mean.

Like Braniff’s contemporaneous U.S. campaign, “You’ll Like Flying Braniff Style,” the tune for this jingle is based on Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talkin’.” It was performed by Traffic Sound, a band that specialized in, to quote one critic, “Peruvian protest psychedelia.” In 1971, Braniff sponsored Traffic Sound’s tour of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, apparently the first time a Peruvian band had toured South America. They also produced the promotional record on which this song can be heard.

The description on the back, describing the qualities of “el Clan Braniff,” gives a hint of what’s to come:

Nothing is more satisfying than flying. [The people in the Braniff Clan] believe it’s the most beautiful job in the world. It’s like love. Something that embraces you… Like the best thing that has ever happened to you. And you can tell. When you talk to them. When they make you feel special like it was your birthday. When they hate bureaucracy… Or when they love everyone more than ever. They are colorful on the inside. And they search for the things that make their color shine. A colorful plane or a happiness that is contagious. They have responsibilities and they are happy to make them happen. And even without even paying attention, they form the Clan. The Braniff Clan. The best thing that could happen to anyone is to be part of it. Being the Clan’s passenger, with the Clan, in the Clan… After all, there are only two ways of flying. With the Clan or without.

Even if you strip away the English associations with the word “clan” (just switch that C with a K) that’s a little weird. Maybe even a little creepy. The picture on the cover, of a purser and a flight attendant proudly flashing their El Clan Braniff jewelry, just cements the image of El Clan Braniff as some sort of jet-age cult.

Of course you have to look at this jingle through a number of prisms: it’s a product of Peruvian culture, it’s a product of its times, and it’s a product of an airline that, more than any other, ran on flower power. Still, if you want to make my partner laugh, all you have to do is say “the colour of Braniff is love.”

Thanks to Jorge Bache for translating.

Airline: Braniff International Airways
Title: “El Clan Braniff”
Agency: H. Mazza y Asociados, Buenos Aires, and Clinton E. Frank Advertising, Chicago
Written By: Fred Neil (original), Jaime Delgado Aparicio (arranged by)
Performed By: Traffic Sound
Year: 1971
Original Lyrics:

Venga y vuele siempre con Braniff.
Pinte el gris de otro color.
Sientase dentro del clan Braniff.

Al estar volando en Braniff
El unvierso es todo color.
El color de Braniff es amor.

Y al estar en el clan Braniff
En nuestro clan
Hayara la felicidad de volar.

Y al estar en el clan Braniff
En nuestro clan
Hayara la felicidad de volar.

Instrumental bridge

Y al estar en el clan Braniff
En nuestro clan
Hayara la felicidad de volar.

Y al estar en el clan Braniff
En nuestro clan
Hayara la felicidad de volar.

Venga vuele con Braniff.
Venga con el clan Braniff.
Venga vuele con Braniff.
Venga con el clan Braniff.
Venga vuele con Braniff.
Venga con el clan Braniff.
Venga vuele con Braniff.
Venga con el clan Braniff…

Translated Lyrics:

Come and always fly with Braniff.
Paint the grey with some other color.
Feel like you are part of Braniff’s clan.

When you keep flying with Braniff
The Universe is colorful.
And Braniff’s color is love.

And being in Braniff’s clan
In our clan
You’ll find the happiness of flying.

And being in Braniff’s clan
In our clan
You’ll find the happiness of flying.

Instrumental bridge

And being in Braniff’s clan
In our clan
You’ll find the happiness of flying.

And being in Braniff’s clan
In our clan
You’ll find the happiness of flying.

Come and fly with Braniff.
Come with Braniff’s clan.
Come and fly with Braniff.
Come with Braniff’s clan.
Come and fly with Braniff.
Come with Braniff’s clan.
Come and fly with Braniff.
Come with Braniff’s clan… 

Reactions

  • Alejandro Trejo Villarreal

    Linda canción. En casa tuvimos el disco de 45rpm. es un placer volver a escuchar esta canción después de 40 años…