For months now, the industry has been expecting a major rebrand from Alaska Airlines. Well, it’s not happening. The company has decided instead to focus on the loyalty of its current customers, according to Runway Girl Network. With the exception of a minor redrawing of the logo, the carrier’s look and livery will stay largely the same, although CEO Brad Tilden is promising “a continued advertising push.”
Welcome to the fourth issue of The Work This Week, a weekly roundup of new advertising, identity, and brand experience work from around the airline industry. This week, the great white north gets a new blue plane, the new American gets new boarding passes, and Norwegian’s flight attendants rock new socks. Read more
There’s one facet of airline branding that’s subtle, yet intensely symbolic. And best of all, it doesn’t cost a thing. It’s the flight number.
In the age of rail, railroads often reserved lower numbers for their most prestigious trains. By the jet age, Pan Am used “flight 1″ for its fabled round-the-world service (flight 2 flew the same route, but in the opposite direction.) The flight an airline designates as “flight 1″ has powerful meaning. It may reflect the airline’s history (as in the cases of Southwest, JetBlue, and American.) Or it might reflect present priorities (as for Air Canada.) Sometimes flight 1 can give you a deep insight into an airline’s soul. And sometimes not. Read more
The smart money says American Airlines will merge with another airline before it emerges from bankruptcy protection. Right now, US Airways seems like the most likely suitor, but Delta is reportedly also considering its options.
Of course, one of the main issues in any merger is what the combined company will be called. As with everything in the airline business, egos get involved. Often the merged carrier takes on the name of the party in the strongest financial position—but not always. US Airways was technically acquired by America West Airlines in 2005, but the combined carrier kept the US Airways name anyway.
And so I open the floor to rampant speculation: will the name “American Airlines” survive a merger? Or is its 78-year history near its end? Some of the merger match-ups after the jump are plausible. Some are patently ridiculous. But when it comes to naming, they all raise interesting questions.
Vote in the polls below, then explain your reasoning in the comments!
Well, the Big Game is less than a week away and, like everyone else, Fly the Branded Skies is taking advantage of the buzz without all the hassle of paying a few million dollars for a sponsorship. This is an index to airline Super Bowl ads of the past 46 years. It draws extensively on Adland’s extensive archive of Super Bowl spots, with a few added in from YouTube. Read more
News leaked this week that United Airlines is polling its current and former employees on which classic livery to feature on a 757 next year. The livery will celebrate the airline’s 85th anniversary. Thanks to @GordonWerner, you can see the five options here. I don’t want to unduly influence the voting, but the Mainliner colours sure look sharp…
When United’s “retrojet” takes to the skies, it will join dozens of other airplanes painted in the bygone colours of dozens of different airlines. It seems almost every airline has a retrojet these days. The trend started ten years ago, and is only gaining momentum. Read more
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.
Say you’re a regional airline trying to compete against the established mainline carriers, and you want to make a television commercial. What do you do? Simple! Follow this easy four-step process.
Step one. Cast an actor with comical features to play a businessman. (Bear in mind the advertising formula discovered in the 1980s: large nose + wide-angle lens + close-up = comedy.) Pepper in a few characters from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Step two. Shoot a commercial in which the businessman flies on a different, fictional airline. Make the other airline resemble a train to the gulag.
Step three. Add a comic soundtrack, preferably using a tuba.
Step four. Record a sardonic voiceover that starts with “Those other guys…”
Follow these steps, and what do you get? You get this. (Agency: Livingston & Company)