Fly the Branded Skies


Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

These are posts from Fly the Branded Skies about Wieden + Kennedy.

Another year, another booze-fueled, scandal-plagued ego trip on the French riviera. If that sounds harsh, perhaps it is. It’s easier to forgive the excesses of Cannes when they’re accompanied by inspiring work. Unfortunately, this year was a bit of a dud.

Few airline industry campaigns were awarded, and many of those that did pick up Lions are retreads of previous years’ campaigns. Last year, airlines took eight Silver and 15 Bronze Lions, already a far cry from the heights of 2014. This year, it was just four Silver and five Bronze, with most of those in lesser categories.

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Last year, airlines had a spectacular showing at the Cannes Lions, with a Grand Prix, six Golds, eight Silvers, and eight Bronzes. Inevitably, this year’s performance (eight Silver, 15 Bronze) was not quite so lofty. But there were some strong contenders, along with the usual mix of shocking omissions and perplexing victors that really make you wonder what the hell the judges were thinking.

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S7 Airlines has a dreamliner of its own

Just in time for advertising awards season, there’s this piece from Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam for S7 Airlines. The installation used neurofeedback to let Muscovites pilot a virtual airplane using only their imaginations. If they could maintain their focus, they could win a ticket to their destination of choice. The video above is mostly in Russian but the explanation of the technology is in English. This is a nice followup to last month’s Imagine video, in which kids described their fantastic dream destinations.

Updated, 16 April 2015: Russian video replaced with English version.

Delta’s new ad missing Bill Murray

I never really appreciated the movie “Lost in Translation” until I spent two weeks on an ill-fated business trip to Dubai. Watching it again afterward, that feeling of dislocated isolation really hit home. Delta captures that same feeling in its new television spot, created by Wieden + Kennedy and masterfully directed by Martin de Thurah. The result is comparatively light on product and heavy on empathy.

Flyby Wire:  July 21st, 2013

The Work This Week: July 21st, 2013

Welcome to the tenth issue of The Work This Week, a weekly roundup of new advertising, identity, and brand experience work from around the airline industry. This week, Garuda promotes its sponsorship of Liverpool FC, Heineken lets passengers play Destination Roulette, and Spirit Airlines flies into review.
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I love it when advertisers take the gloves off: Southwest and Delta are “duking it out” in Atlanta. This ought to be interesting…

The day the industry changed

Most people will tell you that the airline industry changed 32 years ago today—the day Jimmy Carter signed the Airline Deregulation Act.

In fact, there are some people who will tell you that October 24, 1978 was the day everything that ever has changed or ever will change in the airline industry, changed.

Not me. For my money, the day the industry changed was 20 years ago, when Young & Rubicam resigned Trans World Airlines.   Read more


In spending more time on airlines recently, I’ve lost time to write about them. But Adweek’s Barbara Lippert doesn’t have that problem: this week she reviews Delta’s Keep Climbing campaign and gives it high marks.

Team Building Exercise 2010

Seems the new Delta campaign (credits) already has a second spot (or is this one the first?) Visually, this one has much more impact than the other which, while beautifully shot, was a little generic. In terms of the content, though, “Human Factor” is a lot less daring. It turns out the challenges Delta faces are not of its own making—they are “every airline’s reality.” Don’t blame Delta.

There are two ways to look at this spot.   Read more

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:

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