Fly the Branded Skies

Flyby Wire:  November 24th, 2013

Fly By: 24 November 2013

Welcome to Flyby Wire, a weekly look at new advertising, identity, and brand experience work from around the airline industry. This week: look up! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s British Airways!


  • British Airways installed a thoroughly charming billboard in Piccadilly Circus, which you should probably just see for yourself. Is it real? Is it fake? Does it really matter? Agency: Ogilvy London.
  • American Airlines welcomed the Airbus A319 to its fleet with a commercial focused on improvements in the economy cabin. Disclosure. Agency: McCann Erickson New York.


  • Iberia revealed a long-anticipated rebranding. The embattled airline replaced the IB logo it had used since the 1970s with a rather more generic swoosh-type thing and a weird bulgy wordmark. Agency: Interbrand Madrid. Source: Brand New.
  • APCO Worldwide compiled a list of the world’s most-loved companies, and only one airline made the top 100. Can you guess which it was?1


  • In an online video, Air New Zealand reveals just why it’s the official airline of Middle Earth. The video is linked to a contest to send fans to the world premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in Los Angeles. Agency: Draftfcb Auckland.
  • Now you can explore “Yourope” with a choose-your-own-adventure-type YouTube experience from British Airways. Agency: Ogilvy New York.


  • Dear leader has ordered new uniforms for Air Koryo, the North Korean state airline, to “meet the demands of the new century.”


  • KLM invited a group of schoolchildren to a very special screening of Disney’s Planes aboard an MD-11, complete with carefully timed special effects. Source: AdAge.
  • Chocolatier Anthon Berg offered airline passengers chocolate based on Seat Guru’s rating of the seat on their boarding passes. The worse the seat, the better the chocolate. Agency: Robert/Boisen & Like-minded, Cophenhagen.
  • A company called SecurityPoint Media is offering marketers the opportunity to brand security checkpoints. Two pilot projects have now been set up at DFW and CLT, both sponsored by Marriott’s SpringHill Suites.
  • Lufthansa promoted its improved service to Chicago by upgrading a football game and other parts of the Chicago experience.


  • Air New Zealand released yet another tongue-in-cheek inflight safety video, this time starring teen idols Betty White and Gavin McLeod as residents of a retirement community. Air New Zealand’s safety videos: they never get old! (Get it?)
  • On the other hand, I imagine this new safety video from Virgin America would get old quite quickly if you were a frequent flyer, but its release online earned a lot of coverage, including, impressively, a New Yorker review. Oh, by the way: Virgin America is already casting for the next version.
  • And in still more inflight safety video news, Delta has updated its safety video for the holidays. Stay tuned for a thoroughly incongruous celebrity cameo!
  • With its new Invest on Board program, Turkish Airlines is giving startups the chance to reach business travelers through inflight video pitches. Source: Creativity.


  • Lufthansa offered the chance of a new life in Berlin to the first Swede to legally change his or her name to Klaus-Heidi. The winner will be named by December 15th, but spoiler alert: it’s probably going to be Klaus-Heidi. Those who weren’t willing to go through with a legal name change could at least earn a discount on flights by changing their names on Facebook. Agency: DDB Stockholm.
  • In a sign of what consumers have come to expect from airline social teams, KLM has started posting expected response times on its Twitter page. Source: @AirlineFlyer
  • Lily’s response to the news that you can use your electronic devices gate-to-gate on Delta was pretty much the same reaction we all had.



That’s it for this week’s Flyby Wire. If you have tips for next week’s edition, let me know on Twitter or send me an e-mail. See you next week!

  1. Answer: It was All Nippon Airways. Who knew? []