Fly the Branded Skies

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.

It’s strategically surprising to me because this is not a retail ad; it’s a brand ad. If it were advertising a seat sale or other special offer—something designed to boost sales in the short term—the strategy would be easier to understand. Instead, this ad is building equity in a brand that shortly will no longer exist.

So I throw it to you: what’s the deal? Is there a stroke of genius I’m not seeing?

Bonus question: Delta is running a cross-promotion with Mad Men. So why isn’t Delta running ads on Mad Men? Come to think of it, it’s been almost 18 months since Delta hired Wieden and Kennedy. Has W+K done any work for them yet?


  • fazoo

    just like the title says.. seamless…although the brand will disappear.. its just a name change and that everything else will stay the same.