Fly the Branded Skies



These are posts from Fly the Branded Skies on the topic of Jingles.

Jingle: Southwest Airlines “Just Say When” (1985)

Fly Southwest - Just Say When

Listen: Southwest Airlines: “Just Say When”

One of the most appealing attributes of Southwest’s brand is its self-awareness. At a time when other airlines were depicting air travel as a luxurious experience, Southwest made promises it could deliver. It just so happened that what Southwest could deliver was what a lot of passengers really wanted anyway: frequent, convenient flights. This post is about the time when Southwest grew up.

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Jingle: Ansett “Getting So Much Better” (1991)

Ansett Australia. Getting So Much Better.

Listen: Ansett Australia: “Getting So Much Better”

The tumult of deregulation didn’t spare Australia, but it did arrive somewhat later. It was not until October 31, 1990, that Australia’s skies were deregulated. By then Australian airlines had seen enough of the experiences of other countries around the world to be nervous. The sleepy domestic duopoly that was Australian aviation went to war. Advertising was one of the battlefields.

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Jingle: United “Ballad of the Boss” (1976)

You're the boss.

Listen: United Air Lines: “Ballad of the Boss”

There’s a reason why Leo Burnett was United’s advertising agency for more than thirty years. It has to do with Burnett’s trademark style: Warm. Folksy. Midwestern. Sometimes a bit schmaltzy. But always human. For a long time, that style fit United’s brand perfectly. The result was some of the most memorable airline advertising of the last century.

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Jingle: “Fly Cessna” (1980)

Fly Cessna: The world's number 1 business airline.

Listen: Cessna: “Fly Cessna”

This jingle breaks all the rules. For one, it’s not really a jingle; it was almost certainly never used in broadcast advertising. And for another, it’s not actually for an airline, no matter what Cessna says. But it’s still an interesting example of a strange, largely extinct genre: the industrial musical.

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Jingle: “Southern is going your way” (1973)

Southern is going your way

Listen: Southern Airways: “Southern Is Going Your Way” (contemporary)

“Going your way” may just be the most overused airline slogan out there — Mohawk used it, Braniff used it, Air Botswana uses it today, and Northwest Orient turned it on its head (“The world is going our way.”) It’s a pretty inoffensive little tagline, and it’s fitting that Southern turned it into a pretty inoffensive little jingle.

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Jingle: Braniff “El Clan Braniff” (1971)

El Clan Braniff

Listen: Braniff International Airways: “El Clan Braniff”

A few seconds after my Spanish-speaking art director started listening to this, I could hear him giggling on the other side of our office. I’d asked him if he could translate this jingle for me. By the time he got to the end of the song, he was full-out laughing. And when he sent me the translation, I knew why.

This jingle is just goofy.

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Jingle: Braniff “You’ll Like Flying Braniff Style” (1971)

You'll like flying Braniff style.

Listen: Braniff International Airways: “You’ll Like Flying Braniff Style”

It took me a few plays to realize this isn’t an original song.

It should’ve been obvious from the first line of the lyrics. But the Braniff version of “Everybody’s Talkin'” is so different from the original, I didn’t recognize it at first. While the original is quiet and introverted—the story of a man who wants to retreat from the world—Braniff’s version is loud, outgoing, and brassy. A folk song becomes psychedelic rock.

Would you really expect anything less from Braniff?

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Jingle: Republic “Gotten Together” (1979)

Listen: Republic Airlines: “Gotten Together”

Airline mergers are ugly. With a capital Ugh. Seniority lists need to be mashed together. Incompatible fleets need to be made compatible. Executive vice presidencies need to be redistributed. The fears of frequent fliers need to be assuaged.

And through it all, the advertising needs to stay bright and cheerful. Nothing to see here, folks. Look at how super happy all those employees are to be working together!

No, you can’t blame advertising for putting a happy face on an ugly merger. But this is just painful.

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Jingle: Pan Am “We Fly the World” (1979)

Pan Am: We fly the world the way the world wants to fly.

Listen: Pan American World Airways: “We Fly the World the Way the World Wants to Fly”

Today Pan Am is remembered as a luxury airline, largely by people who never flew it. But it was also an inclusive airline. Most of its advertising campaigns weren’t aimed at the international jetset—they were aimed at getting ordinary Americans to fly overseas, often for the first time.

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Jingle: United Air Lines “Take Me Along” (1967)

Listen: United Air Lines: “Take Me Along”

This campaign is notorious in the annals of advertising—right up there with the Pacific Air Lines campaign from Stan Freberg that allegedly drove the airline into bankruptcy. Neither campaign was quite as disastrous as the lore now suggests. In fact, this one may have been a big success.

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