By a remarkable coincidence, two U.S. airlines launched new brand identities this week. Southwest revealed its new look at a lavish ceremony on Monday. Frontier unveiled its new look at a somewhat less fancy event earlier today. And the week is young — who knows what excitement is yet to come!
In their own ways, both Southwest and Frontier are returning to their roots. That makes sense for one airline; it’s a perplexing choice for the other. The difference says a lot about what it means to be a “low-cost carrier” today.
Welcome to the fourteenth issue of The Work This Week, a weekly roundup of new advertising, identity, and brand experience work from around the airline industry. This week, almost every airline ever launches a fall advertising campaign. Read more
The list of finalists in the Southwest Airlines review is down to four, according to Adweek: Arnold, Boston; TBWA\Chiat\Day in Los Angeles; Leo Burnett in Chicago; and Deutsch in Los Angeles. A selection could come as soon as next week. No matter what happens, GSD&M will continue to hold a piece of the account—but it is telling that they are not finalists in this pitch, even though they were invited to participate.
Every kind of advertising has—well, let’s call them “conventions.” Airline advertising is no different. This is part of a series of posts on the clichés of airline advertising.
When airlines get into trouble, as they often do, they eventually end up being worth more dead than alive. But there’s one group of people that always has an interest in keeping the planes flying: the employees. Over the past few decades, a number of airlines have been saved — however temporarily — when employees took ownership stakes in them, usually in exchange for pay cuts.
And as soon as employees become stockholders, the airline advertises.
There’s an old joke that a town too small to support one lawyer is still big enough to support two. Canada is a small country that, historically at least, has been able to support two airlines: Air Canada on one side, and a variety of challengers over the years on the other.
The difference between this brand duopoly and, say, Coke and Pepsi, is that in Canada there has always been a subtle political dimension to airline branding.
Air Canada, the erstwhile Crown corporation, is the flying symbol of the central Canadian establishment. Its branding is sedate; its flashiest advertising so far featured a song by Celine Dion, an approved Canadian choice. Its headquarters are in Montreal. If Canada’s natural governing party had a natural governing airline, Air Canada would be it. Its symbol is a maple leaf; it is, after all, the flag carrier. Read more