Fly the Branded Skies

 

Airline: Continental Airlines

These are posts from Fly the Branded Skies about Continental Airlines.

ICAO Code: COA

Continental Airlines Junior Hostess Wings
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Continental Airlines Junior Hostess Wings
Continental Airlines Junior Pilot Wings
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According to Advertising Age, United Continental Holdings is looking for a new advertising agency. The article doesn’t say whether Kaplan Thaler Group (Continental) or Barrie D’Rozario Murphy (United) will be participating in the review. Combined spending for the two airlines was $63.2 million in measured media in 2010, although the vast majority of that came from Continental.

Super*bleep*

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

Tropes: Employee-Owners

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.


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Remember when…

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

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

Tropes: Those other guys…

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)

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Save the Continental Name

On Tuesday, I posted an interview with Timothy Jasionowski, one of the founders of Save the Tulip. Today, here’s the other side of the debate over the new airline born of the merger between Continental and United. “Muzio Scevola” is the creator of Save the Continental Name. His name is an alias, and it’s not hard to understand why if, as he says, he works in customer service for United.   Read more

Armchair Marketing: Continental Ads

Hypothetical situation: you’re the brand manager for Continental Airlines. Your brand name is just a couple months away from disappearing. Do you keep advertising, or do you go dark?

Well, if you watched Mad Men tonight, you know the answer. This is the ad, which was created in March and aired as recently as tonight.

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Save the Tulip

United Airlines 747

The battle lines have been drawn. On one side, United loyalists fighting to save the iconic “tulip” logo designed by Saul Bass in the 1970s. On the other, Continental loyalists fighting to save the airline’s name.

Right now, the “Save the Tulip” group on Facebook has 1,635 members. The “Save the Continental Name” group has just 109 members. They are both fighting to overturn a decision that airline executives insist is final.

Timothy Jasionowski is one of the founders of the United group. In this e-mail interview, he explains why United travelers are so attached to the airline’s brand. I hope to have an interview with one of the creators of the Continental group shortly.   Read more

Photos: Chelsea

These are photos of the end of an era. Continental is the last major U.S. carrier to serve meals in coach on domestic flights. Starting this fall, there will be none left. Continental will replace free meals with buy-on-board options, reflecting “today’s market and consumer preferences.”

Now, I’m not sure consumers would rather buy a $5 can of Pringles than get a free meal, but still, this decision seems a long time coming. (You can see what you’ll be missing at airlinemeals.net.)

Continental is also the last major U.S. carrier to operate its own flight kitchens. Chelsea Food Services is wholly owned by Continental. At the airline’s Newark hub, Chelsea prepares about 28,000 meals a day for 200 flights—half the total number of flights at Newark every day.   Read more