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Airline: Braniff International Airways

These are posts from Fly the Branded Skies about Braniff International Airways.

ICAO Code: BNF

Braniff International Airways Wings
Braniff International Airways Wings

Jingle: “Southern is going your way” (1973)

Southern is going your way

Listen: Southern Airways: “Southern Is Going Your Way” (contemporary)

“Going your way” may just be the most overused airline slogan out there — Mohawk used it, Braniff used it, Air Botswana uses it today, and Northwest Orient turned it on its head (“The world is going our way.”) It’s a pretty inoffensive little tagline, and it’s fitting that Southern turned it into a pretty inoffensive little jingle.

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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.

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Jingle: Braniff “You’ll Like Flying Braniff Style” (1971)

You'll like flying Braniff style.

Listen: Braniff International Airways: “You’ll Like Flying Braniff Style”

It took me a few plays to realize this isn’t an original song.

It should’ve been obvious from the first line of the lyrics. But the Braniff version of “Everybody’s Talkin'” is so different from the original, I didn’t recognize it at first. While the original is quiet and introverted—the story of a man who wants to retreat from the world—Braniff’s version is loud, outgoing, and brassy. A folk song becomes psychedelic rock.

Would you really expect anything less from Braniff?

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Jingle: Western “Western Pays a Buck a Flub” (1966)

Western Airlines Flub Stub

Listen: Western Airlines: “Western Pays a Buck a Flub — Rude”

Gawrsh, running an airline sure hurts your noggin. So many things to remember. Smile at the passengers, clean the lavatory, put down the landing gear… who could blame ya for goofin’ up sometimes? Aw-hyuck!

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Jingle: Braniff “We Better Be Better” (1980)

We better be better. We're Braniff!

Listen: Braniff International Airways: “We Better Be Better”

The problem with jingles is that they almost inevitably sound prideful. When you get a bunch of singers to belt out an anthem to consumerism, the advertiser tends to sound like it’s pretty proud of itself. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with a little pride. It’s just that, ultimately, consumers get to decide whether you really have anything to sing about.

And in some cases, pride goeth before the fall.

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Jingle: National Airlines “Watch Us Shine” (1977)

National Airlines: Watch Us Shine

Listen: National Airlines: “Watch Us Shine”

If there’s one thing airline jingles are selling, it’s pride.

Most jingles, I think, evince a grandeur disproportionate to their subjects. But the songs of airline advertising are not mere jingles. They are anthems worthy of companies that dare slip the surly bonds of earth and touch the face of God.

Whether this is a good way to sell tickets is another question.

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Tropes: Sex

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.

Last month, the Flight Attendants Association of Australia vowed to take the Russian airline AviaNova to the International Transport Federation over an ad the low-cost carrier recently produced. The ad depicts the airline’s unusual (and, let’s be honest, pretty inefficient) method for washing its planes. In a shameless play for more visitors, I include that video below:

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Zombies!

Pan Am Systems freight carAn investor group announced in March that it has acquired the trademarks for Eastern Airlines and plans to launch a new carrier with that name.

But before they do, they may want to consider what happened to Pan Am. Because after 64 years, the storied Pan Am brand ended up not in the skies but on the rails.

The brand was sold off after the original Pan Am’s bankruptcy in 1991. In 1996, the blue Pan Am globe was flying once again on a single A300 christened the Clipper Fair Wind. But the second Pan Am didn’t last long; after a star-crossed merger with Carnival Air Lines, another Pan Am followed the first into bankruptcy.   Read more

Tropes: The Singing Jumbo Jet

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.

There’s an old joke that, when faced with creating advertising, the British crack a joke, the French get naked, and Americans sing.

If that introduction got your hopes up that this post would be full of jokes, or, even better, naked people, I’m sorry to disappoint. No, this post is about singing—something airlines used to do it a lot.

Today, a song in a commercial is far more likely to be licensed than commissioned. But there was a time when jingles were very popular, and no category used them more often than airlines. In fact, airlines may have elevated the jingle to its greatest heights. This one (by Leo Burnett / song credits) is liable to get stuck in your head:

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Tropes: Sunsets

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.

So relaxing. So reassuring. So predictable. It’s just not a real airline ad unless it finishes with an airplane flying off into the sunset—or, in the case of Eastern Air Lines, flying directly at the camera from the sun. Hey, if your tagline is “The Wings of Man,” you’ve clearly got chutzpah to spare. The clips in this video span decades and this cliché shows no signs of going away. The only difference is now the sunsets are computer generated.   Read more