Fly the Branded Skies

 

Airline: Eastern Air Lines

These are posts from Fly the Branded Skies about Eastern Air Lines.

ICAO Code: EAL

Eastern Air Lines Jr. Test Pilot Wings
Eastern Air Lines Wings
Eastern Air Lines Wings
Eastern Air Lines Wings (Junior Pilot card)
Eastern Air Lines Wings (Junior Stewardess card)
Eastern Air Lines Wings
Eastern Air Lines Wings
Eastern Air Lines Wings

Introduction

On the first Monday in March, 1961, the unthinkable struck Eastern Air Lines: a deficit. After 26 years of profits, Eastern declared a loss of $3.6 million.

The loss in 1960 marked the beginning of a decade of change at Eastern. It revealed fundamental problems from which the airline would never really recover. But it also spurred one of the most remarkable reinventions of any airline brand, ever. The changes at Eastern went far beyond a new coat of paint on its airplanes. They reflected an airline that not only portrayed itself differently, but saw itself differently.

For in just ten years, Eastern went from “bums on seats” to “the Wings of Man.”

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Jingle: “You’re A National Priority” (1979)

You're a National priority.

Listen: National Airlines: “You're a National Priority”

The two key pronouns in airline advertising — in all advertising, really — are “we” and “you.” Fundamentally, all advertising is a simple proposition: Here’s what we have to offer; here’s what’s in it for you. Some advertising emphasizes the “we,” some advertising emphasizes the “you,” but pretty much all of it falls somewhere on that continuum.
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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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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

Seven question mark seven

7?7The smart money says Boeing will soon launch a brand new replacement for the 737, starting from a blank sheet of paper, with entry into service by the end of the decade.

But all the debate over re-engining and airline economics is completely missing the most important question:

What are they going to call it?   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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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

Chutzpah

Eastern: The Wings of Man
Source

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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