Fly the Branded Skies

 

Airline: Pacific Southwest Airlines

These are posts from Fly the Branded Skies about Pacific Southwest Airlines.

ICAO Code: PSA

Pacific Southwest Airlines Wings

Jingle: PSA “Catch Us!” (1976)

Catch us!

Listen: Pacific Southwest Airlines: “Catch Us”

Sometimes the jingles blur together. Most of them sound alike. Most of them say the same things — and they say very little. Fluff and puffery permeate most airline jingles. So I like this one, because its simplicity just works.

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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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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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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