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.
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
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