Fly the Branded Skies

 

Airline: Pan American World Airways

These are posts from Fly the Branded Skies about Pan American World Airways.

ICAO Code: PAA

Pan American World Airways Junior Pilot Wings
Pan American World Airways Clipper Stewardess Wings
Pan American World Airways Master Pilot Wings
Pan American World Airways Junior Clipper Captain Wings
Pan American World Airways Junior Clipper Stewardess Wings
Pan American World Airways Jr. Clipper Capt. Wings
Pan American World Airways Junior Clipper Pilot Wings
Pan American World Airways Junior Clipper Stewardess Wings
Pan American World Airways Junior Clipper Stewardess Wings
Pan American World Airways Junior Clipper Pilot Wings
Pan American World Airways Junior Clipper Stewardess Wings
Pan American World Airways Jr. Clipper Crew Wings
Pan American World Airways Junior Flyer Wings
Pan American World Airways Junior Flyer Wings (dark blue)
Pan American World Airways Wings
Pan American World Airways Wings
Pan American World Airways

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

If you had wings

When I was a kid, we’d always have to get to the airport early on family vacations so I could visit all the various airline check-in counters and get some loot. In those days, every counter at least offered timetables and luggage tags, and most offered much more. The best ones had junior wings.

There are apparently more than 900 different kinds of junior wings out there. As a kid, visiting the check-in counters, I managed to collect ten of them: Air Canada, America West, American, Continental, Delta, Lufthansa, Northwest, SAS, Time Air, and United. Not bad for a 10-year-old.

Years passed. I found a set of Pan Am wings at a gift shop once, but otherwise, that was the end of my collection of wings. Until I realized something that 10-year-old Cameron would never have imagined:

You can find wings on eBay.   Read more

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:

  Read more

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

My earliest memory is of a turtle with a peg leg dressed as a pirate. I saw it from the window of an airplane. And I never forgot.

I was 3 years old and my family was on vacation. The turtle wasn’t a real turtle, but the logo on the tail of a jet belonging to Cayman Airways. It’s not surprising that the mascot, nicknamed “Sir Turtle,” would appeal to a young kid—but for me, that turtle kicked off a lifelong fascination with airline branding.

That was shortly after the deregulation of the airlines. In the years since, great airline brands have risen and fallen. Some have disappeared rather suddenly — who could have imagined then an airline industry without Eastern? Or Pan Am? Yet these once iconic brands are long gone.

Indeed, of the remaining U.S. “legacy” carriers, only one — American Airlines — has escaped bankruptcy. Airlines in other countries have fared no better. Their powerful brands have not been enough to save them.

It’s hard not to wonder if airline brands even matter anymore.   Read more