Sometimes, customers aren’t your audience

I didn’t like the American airlines rebrand campaign

Whilst I didn’t have any issue with the design (then again I also didn’t really have an issue about the Gap rebrand).  I think the colours stay true, it’s a interesting logo and a nice little refresh.

Where I had an issue was with the ads they ran in press.  When I read them, it felt like a gorilla beating its chest looking for a mate.

photo

It used copy like

Inspired by our past, but driven by our future.

Offered no reason to fly with them.  Made no sense to any prospective customer

But then when I pondered on it, the fact was that those ads, and the video below weren’t for the general public.  They weren’t meant to drive new people to try to buy from them, because Marketing 101 tells you that’s not how you do it.  And I can tell you, people don’t pick an airline because its chosen colour scheme.

That means that the ads were meant for two internal audiences; (a) employees and (b) shareholders.  Employees will get a sense of delight of “That’s my company.  That’s the company I help shape and build.” For the shareholders it is more about validating their investment “Look at this great company running advertising to promote itself.  It’s clearly trying to grow its market.  I’m glad I invested.”

So I guess I owe American an apology for being so rash. I’m sorry.

But I’m still not going to fly with you!

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