The New American

I’ve been following the rebranding of American Airlines for a couple of months. It’s quite impressive. The entire look is beautiful, modern, sleek.

I saw the first commercial during a Mad Men commercial break when the current season first aired. Of course, it was perfect ad placement as Jon Hamm is the new voice for American (again, brilliant).

They take the flight experience, which has become completely routine for so many Americans (and particularly business travelers in this ad), and remind the viewer of the ways they are moving forward and catering to the needs of travelers today–wifi, fully lie-back seats; thus bringing “the wonder” back into flying–the 2013 wonder.

“We’re putting the wonder back into air travel, one innovation at a time. The new American is arriving.”

I like this approach. A lot. Afterall, isn’t it the experience that we’re after? We want the sleek nostalgia of 1960s flying. We may not put on our best clothes every time we hop on a flight anymore, but we’re over the bag fees, the seats that are so old they’re musty, and sometimes, the casualness of it all. We want to be catered to a little bit while we’re in the air. The needs of today’s flyers are pretty basic. We want to be comfortable, we want wi-fi. We want an easier flight experience.

With the recent merger of American Airlines and US Airways, a lot of people are asking how will the new branding change? After all, didn’t they just rebrand all of this?

I think they responded well:

“Let’s introduce ourselves to the world. Not again-but for the very first time.”

Their web site is stunning. Not only is it designed well and easy to navigate, it describes the rebranding. It engages the viewer, and it lets them know what’s going on. That’s just smart. It elimiates the confusion and includes the viewer in the change.

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The entire airline has gotten a facelift. The new fleet looks like 2030, and they even have new flight attendant uniforms. This brand started with the most important aspects (the logo) and put the new thumbprint on everything, down to the smallest detail. That’s a strong rebranding for you.

I’m admittedly a Southwest girl, but I have to say…I’ve been checking American flights more, lately.

Side note: I saw one of their “Silver Birds” in the air the other day, and they do shine so nicely.

This airline married perception with some actual changes for the traveler. I think it will bode well for them.

Thanks for stepping up a few notches and for putting the glamour back into flight, American-at least the idea of it, anyway.

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