American Airlines TV AdBy Tom Dougherty
23 April 2020
American Airlines TV ad dismisses the most important part
The new American Airlines TV ad, its first in four years, is quite creative in how the brand was able to assemble it. But it breaks the first rule of brand advertising. It’s about the airline, not the passengers.
“Instead, when developing this American Airlines TV ad, its creators should be honest with themselves and get out of their own way. ‘You Are Why We Fly’ is all about American Airlines. Who cares?”
The developers of the spot, agency of record CPB, found an interesting way to get around not being able to stage large productions during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. It used user-generated smart phone footage along with some “small photo and video” by the brand and agency.
The mix of the two produces some startling imagery, such as the desk attendant wearing a mask. I’m not sure about the music choice (a little too downbeat) but it is certainly noticeable.
The problem with the American Airlines TV ad is that it does very little to create preference among the few current travelers and any future ones. It’s basically recognizing the work its own employees are doing.
In fact, its tagline, “You Are Why We Fly,” would be much stronger if it said: “Why YOU Fly.” Then it becomes emotional for target audiences. Right now, its meaning is just that American Airlines is up and running. And the promise that “You Are Why We Fly” is barely believable.
American Airlines TV ad needs just one, important tweak
Certainly, there are a few hinderances to creating any kind of new TV spot in these times. Many are using old footage or stock photography, so kudos to this American Airlines TV ad for showcasing some terrific imagery.
But a simple tweak in the narration and theme would have made all the difference. And, simply put, the failure to do so demonstrates why most ad agencies fail with persuasive messaging. Like their clients, they too often think inside-out instead of outside-in. They rarely consider the perspective of the target audience.
Instead, when developing this American Airlines TV ad, its creators should be honest with themselves and get out of their own way. “You Are Why We Fly” is all about American Airlines. Who cares?
“Why You Fly” is obviously something the airline and agency never considered or at least dismissed. Yet it’s everything.
BlackBerry Failed. Marketing lessons to be learned. The world truly changed in 1999. We saw Europe introduce the Euro. Then, the tragedy at Columbine, the world was dealing with Kosovo and SpongeBob SquarePants debuted. But the world also saw a revolution in...
Understanding Market Maturity Understanding Market Maturity. It May Be A Hidden Mature Market Think about market maturity. The TV set market would seem to be the last market to be described as immature. After all, television has been a significant part of our lives...
1 March 2021The Microsoft Surface ad still doesn’t get it The newest Microsoft Surface ad aims to replicate the brilliant I’m a Mac I’m a PC ads from years ago. You remember those spots. Starring Justin Long and John Hodgman, they compared the brands as personalities....