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"Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:10 am

...don't care if they got their facts straight. Still amusing: http://youtu.be/Jlqq83Q0udw
 
Independence76
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:09 am

I thought it was take more of a pass at their actual brand as opposed to the product experience.

From the CinemaSins / BrandSins approach, I could have named around 30-40 major legitimate sins regarding "New American" based on both external observations and word-of-mouth internal information that showcases the true amateur nature of the (quotations added on purpose) brand "development" process in part with FutureBrand.

Video was so-so. The Carty segment was certainly educational.

Oh what the heck, I'll give it a go to add these sins to the topic at hand.

1. The rebranding reveal was apparently delayed after months of working. The 77W was late due to First Class seat production issues that AA did not adequately plan ahead of time.
2. The actual rebranding unveiling had a "scheduling conflict" that resulted in a 737-800 being painted at the event, but a drab and awkward partially-painted 77W in the background.
3. A 45-year-old brand was trashed in the name of "fresh" as FutureBrand had a habit of doing. Unfortunately, they probably have never heard of the term "customer recognition" and they probably just assumed it was a jumble of letters Landor Associates came up with.
4. The internal graphic design handbook was incomplete by the time it was unveiled. Some departments took over a year to get any files associated with the new brand.
5. The graphic design handbook that was completed ended up being problematic and zero application guidelines for fabric, porcelain, and glass. This resulted in a 3-month delay internally and AA had to fix all the problems FB left for them to solve like a puzzle. There are now four different variations of the logo to put on glass not because of material limitations, but because they were indecisive.
6. The flag tail is atrociously expensive to paint due to the amount of custom-made stencils required for it, and it takes far too long to dry.
7. The grey-gloss paint option ignored lessons learned by other silver paint applications developed by Northwest, Niki, and Germanwings. It was tested on an MD-80 in daylight for about 5 minutes before it was approved, not considering what it would look like in drab weather.
8. This grey-gloss not only looked far too neutral against the vibrant flag tail (a professional graphic designer's worst nightmare), but the glossy finish results in basic stickers being incompatible and come off planes after about a week. This was discovered when Envoy stickers were put on Eagle jets and stickers with a special adhesive had to be ordered.
9. Speaking of stickers, one of the first 3 77Ws delivered had an incorrect, oversized Oneworld sticker in the "e." This was because FutureBrand didn't supply information on livery regulations elsewhere on the fuselage besides the logo, tail, and text and never included stickers as a serious consideration.
10. The flag tail on the 77W takes up to 2 weeks to completely dry.
11. The flag tail vote was initiated with two options: the current tail and the old tail. A miscommunication between departments resulted in the second option being called "the absolute and final alternate option." 2 weeks later, an AA executive said it was simply "one variation to test the waters." This was never fixed and many comments complained the second tail didn't make sense.
12. The tail vote was open to current employees exclusively. It was nearly 50/50 which showcased the controversy behind the horrid design. Unfortunately, retirees who had put 30-40 years into the company were not allowed to vote on its future. Voting was also not open to the public. The #1 comment on the Facebook vote was the tail changed to the Flight Symbol instead and the current flag tail was voted on significantly less than the top comment.
13. The graphics on the 77W promo video looked a decade old.
14. If you use the immortal Helvetica and it looks good with the proper kerning, don't replace it with a variation of Frutiger. It'll look fresh for 10 years and then look old again. Any serious graphic designer who understands brand recognition will tell you this.
15. There's no way to integrate the flag tail in any brand aspects besides on the plane itself. It's a useless, inflexible piece of art.
16. The American flag on the tail of an aircraft you fly worldwide in the 21st century is a great way of saying "hey everybody, I'm obnoxious."
17. Horton (who personally approved the flag tail) has zero taste.
18. The Zodiac seats put into service on the 77W are admittedly a good hard product, but F and J look like spilled coffee with atrocious hotel carpet-like fabric and the Y seats are an example of what not to do in color theory.
19. Love or hate the new uniforms...we waited three years for this?
20. The issues with the Panasonic Ex2 systems on the inaugural 77W flight were hilarious, including "attendant" being misspelled as "attendent."
21. The "1:1 square space application" of the new logo involved the text and the logo to the right, rendering it unintelligible from a distance. This was fixed internally later with the text on bottom and a large logo on top.



Well, there's 21 sins. I'm sure there's more, but here ya go.

[Edited 2014-12-22 20:48:01]
 
aerokiwi
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:14 am

Ha! Great list Independence. It would seem FutureBrand aren't as professional or thorough as they make out.

And excellent point re. the inflexibility of the tail-flag. Spot on - how else (and why?) would they use it? Also, I've wondered how they settled on that awful grey for the fuselage - why didn't they go for the Northwest sparkly grey? Bizarre. Though even that turned out brownish in some lights.
 
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hufftheweevil
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:23 am

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 1):
15. There's no way to integrate the flag tail in any brand aspects besides on the plane itself. It's a useless, inflexible piece of art.

   That's one more reason why I think Delta's livery is so damn good. The Widget can be used for just about any other marketing purpose. And it is.
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americanfan123
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:46 pm

I couldn't even finish watching the video that was stupid and and not even funny. Most of the points he made could have been said about most major US airlines. AA is doing great things with the merger and new brand although just like every airline merger, there are bad side effects.
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eaglepower83
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:02 pm

So are all the BA planes, flying around with their Union Jack tails and coat of arms whizzing into international airfields saying "WE ARE THE BRITISH EMPIRE! BOW TO OUR AERONAUTICAL POWER!"
 
jetblue1965
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:35 pm

You can't compare the stylish representation of national flags on AC BA KE LA AF to that strange new AA flag tail that doesn't match well with the rest of the fuselage. I have no particular affiliation for ET or EK and I think their tails feels more pleasing, even though both depict their nation's flag in a wavy manner

Aeroflot is a case study on how to integrate a flag tail properly with a brushed silver paint.
 
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hufftheweevil
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:43 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 7):
You can't compare the stylish representation of national flags on AC BA KE LA AF to that strange new AA flag tail that doesn't match well with the rest of the fuselage.

   The US Airways flag logo was closer to our American flag than that mess-of-a-thing on the new AA tail. I don't hate it, but I most certainly don't love it.
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:29 pm

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 1):
10. The flag tail on the 77W takes up to 2 weeks to completely dry.

Wow, didn't know that. Your 21 points are absolutely on point. The new AA branding and logos are just awful.

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 7):
Aeroflot is a case study on how to integrate a flag tail properly with a brushed silver paint.

Agreed.
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WesternDC6B
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:55 pm

Quoting hufftheweevil (Reply 8):
The US Airways flag logo was closer to our American flag than that mess-of-a-thing on the new AA tail. I don't hate it, but I most certainly don't love it.

I'm in agreement, huff. When I first saw it, it was like the musical equivalent of hearing a completely wrong chord in a melody line. What's sad is that some company or team or some such was actually paid to devise this scheme. Also sad is: we'll be looking at it for a long time.
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aajfksjubklyn
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:06 pm

This has to be the worst thing I have ever watched, especially since a Justin Beeber look a like is narrating it. You can change the name of AA to any airline in the world in this video and it would be relevant. Amazing how folks have so much time on their hands. I personally think the logo stands out, as it should. Where they are lacking is on the interior, where there is no color, no branding on the newer planes. Downright boring, and matches the new uniforms: downright boring.
 
jetblue1965
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:18 pm

Quoting aajfksjubklyn (Reply 11):

It "stands out" because it feels very "in your face" and very "my way or the highway"

Regardless of the quality of the video, some points made are quite valid. Large swaths of internal employees have reservations about it (evidenced in the vote split), let alone what customers or foreigners think.

And let's not pretend that tiny beak in the slanted logo is a preservation of the iconic eagle
 
Flighty
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:26 pm

Yeah I think US had a mediocre livery before, American's was classic but severely dated, and the new AA livery is... also mediocre. It is better than the United livery however. I much prefer the previous United livery.

American should have gone for a much less transformative design, and they should have made the US Airways flag their insignia. What they have now is just milquetoast and will be gone in 8-10 years.
 
commavia
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:28 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 12):
It "stands out" because it feels very "in your face" and very "my way or the highway"

Regardless of the quality of the video, some points made are quite valid. Large swaths of internal employees have reservations about it (evidenced in the vote split), let alone what customers or foreigners think.

And let's not pretend that tiny beak in the slanted logo is a preservation of the iconic eagle

Yeah - there are plenty of opinions. Some people don't like it, I personally have grown to love it. Myself, I'll take AA's new branding any day of the week over United's (which is to say Continental's) circa-1991 scheme, or Southwest's new livery which I personally do not like. But to each their own - there's no "right" or "wrong" on something so inherently subjective.
 
N766UA
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:43 pm

I checked out of that video after 2 minutes. Not interesting or amusing at all, and the narration was awful, unlike cinema sins which are actually pretty good.
 
Alias1024
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:46 pm

That's one of the most juvenile, idiotic videos I've seen in a long time.

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 1):

  

There's plenty wrong with the new AA brand, none of which was in the video, but much of which you summed up nicely. I'll add my own thoughts:

1. Despite being terribly expensive and time consuming, the tail might actually be the best part of the rebrand. If I showed that tail to the average flyer (the one that's frantically digging for their reservation in the check in lobby because they don't even know which airline they're flying) they'd guess it is American. So it's got that going for it. It's also undoubtedly attracts attention. Too bad it's application is so limited, as I've grown to like the tail.

2. The 'flight symbol' is atrocious. Hint for Futurebrand, if you have to explain that it's an eagle, then it's not an eagle. I know what it's supposed to be and I still see a pull tab every time I see that logo.

3. The 'flight symbol' doesn't reproduce well in all mediums. This was somewhat touched on by Independence76. Due to the gradients you can't put this logo on service items in a consistent manner.

4. What's up with the check in and gate podium backgrounds? The plane is silver/gray and American Flag colored. So why do I see white fading to blue? I get that it kinda resembles a sky with a white cloud layer, but it's completely inconsistent with the rest of the brand.

5. The whole rebrand feels too modern, too trendy. I fear this will not age well at all.
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jetblue1965
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:56 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 14):

Yeah - there are plenty of opinions. Some people don't like it, I personally have grown to love it. Myself, I'll take AA's new branding any day of the week over United's (which is to say Continental's) circa-1991 scheme, or Southwest's new livery which I personally do not like. But to each their own - there's no "right" or "wrong" on something so inherently subjective.

If you do a survey on how many Canadians like the AC tail, how many Brits like the BA tail, and how many Americans like the AA tail, i can bet that AC and BA will receive higher marks than AA

a brand is not like an election where 50%+1 means success. a branding requires a very large chunk of support across your potential customer base (not just the ones already loyal to it) to succeed. Even someone like you who loves AA immensely has to "grown to love it" instead of "love at first sight".

If the split for this branding's like/dislike is 55/45 it is not a landslide .... it is dismal.
 
commavia
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:09 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 17):
If you do a survey on how many Canadians like the AC tail, how many Brits like the BA tail, and how many Americans like the AA tail, i can bet that AC and BA will receive higher marks than AA

a brand is not like an election where 50%+1 means success. a branding requires a very large chunk of support across your potential customer base (not just the ones already loyal to it) to succeed. Even someone like you who loves AA immensely has to "grown to love it" instead of "love at first sight".

If the split for this branding's like/dislike is 55/45 it is not a landslide .... it is dismal.

Any "surveys" would be meaningless not only for the various confounding variables they couldn't possibly capture (like national brand identity directly tied to a former-state-owned-airline, unlike AA), but also because - they simply don't matter. Branding does not require "a very large chunk of support" - it requires identification and positive attribution. Once again - meaningless unless the brand itself is either (1) unrecognizable, and/or (2) actually itself leads to negative brand association. I have seen absolutely zero evidence of either. It's not a question of "landslides" or "dismal."

As for me, I have, indeed, "grown to love it," but the reality is that whether I loved it or hated it would not have made the slightest difference to me in my booking decisions. I have positive or negative opinions of various U.S. carriers liveries, including United, Southwest, Spirit, etc. - but would never fly or not fly on those airlines for that reason. Fare, schedule, service and FF program are all vastly more important to me - and I suspect most people. As said, case in point: I think United has the most dated, aged and boring livery of any major U.S. airline today - but I have still made multiple trips with United in the last several years nonetheless.
 
jetblue1965
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:22 pm

I actually love the fuselage paint scheme (brushed silver). It's the tail that doesn't fit in well with the rest of it.

Quoting commavia (Reply 18):
Branding does not require "a very large chunk of support" - it requires identification and positive attribution.

This is a biggest problem. With such "standing out" of the tail, are you sure it gives positive attribution to foreign customers ?

The biggest issue with the new logo is lack of branding continuity. LH SQ QF have all revised their liveries and logos throughout history, and yet you continue to distinctly recognize the brand. It was a major mistake to throw away the eagle (same mistake that EY is making by throwing away their falcon). To me, that's progress for the sake of progress, something different for the sake of change.

Quoting commavia (Reply 18):
Fare, schedule, service and FF program are all vastly more important to me - and I suspect most people.

The only applies to people who already know exactly what to book. To a less informed foreigner, branding and brand recognition plays into their selection process.

Branding plays a huge part to AA's success in LatAm. There could be identical services and fares on LatAm carriers and their pax would only fly AA and nothing else, because they recognize and associate with the AA brand. UA/DL can't make any dent in LatAm precisely because the locals view them as inferior to AA, rightfully or not. The opposite is true in TPAC market.

[Edited 2014-12-23 10:26:08]
 
commavia
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:27 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 19):
With such "standing out" of the tail, are you sure it gives positive attribution to foreign customers ?

Are you sure it doesn't?   

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 19):
It was a major mistake to throw away the eagle (same mistake that EY is making by throwing away their falcon).

Personally, I think the stylized flight symbol looks great - very modern and clean, and I totally buy that it's a distinctive "evolution" of the eagle. But while on the subject of "major mistakes" related to "throwing away" iconic branding elements, too bad United literally did completely throw away the tulip - I agree with another poster that United's livery, in fact especially the last one before the merger, was way, way nicer (cleaner, more modern) than the Continental livery they have now.

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 19):
The only applies to people who already know exactly what to book. To a less informed foreigner, branding and brand recognition plays into their selection process.

Again - all hypothetical conjecture based on ... nothing. Absolutely nothing. I look forward to seeing evidence - any single shred of evidence - that AA's new branding is having even the slightest negative effect, internationally or within the U.S., on AA bookings and profits.
 
jetblue1965
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:44 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 20):
Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 19):
With such "standing out" of the tail, are you sure it gives positive attribution to foreign customers ?

Are you sure it doesn't?

By using a flag tail, AA has directly linked their corporate image to the national image, rightfully or not. Now ask yourself - how's the USA image in Middle East and China ?

You're quite mistaken if you think people will completely disassociate the airline from the nation after seeing that tail. I'm not born in the US so I can provide a certain foreign lens to these things. I agree it is unfair to link a public airline to a nation, but that's how many people see things. Guilt-by-association is more prominent than you think.

Quoting commavia (Reply 20):

Personally, I think the stylized flight symbol looks great - very modern and clean, and I totally buy that it's a distinctive "evolution" of the eagle. But while on the subject of "major mistakes" related to "throwing away" iconic branding elements, too bad United literally did completely throw away the tulip - I agree with another poster that United's livery, in fact especially the last one before the merger, was way, way nicer (cleaner, more modern) than the Continental livery they have now.

Why do you keep talking about UA ? That's not the topic of discussion here. It's not like I've given any praise to that boring globe either. So it's quite a poor comparison to claim that AA logo is better than UA, so therefore, AA is a good logo.

Quoting commavia (Reply 20):

Again - all hypothetical conjecture based on ... nothing. Absolutely nothing. I look forward to seeing evidence - any single shred of evidence - that AA's new branding is having even the slightest negative effect, internationally or within the U.S., on AA bookings and profits.

Please see their TPAC performance. Despite the whole company printing cash post-BK in nearly every market, TPAC is still quite a drag, with nary a sign of improvement. You can keep blaming CASM or labor costs or "not having SFO" but branding is a huge role there. The Chinese, in particular, are very brand conscious and brand aware.
 
ikramerica
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:37 pm

While the U.S. Flag code isn't law, it also is respected as quasi law when it comes to business. And the flag code says AA couldn't put a true US Flag on the tail. You are allowed to put a small flag to show your nationality or even national pride, but it can't be used as a brand identity to sell items. Ralph Lauren doesn't seem to care about this but most companies respect it. Most other nations don't have such a code and companies drape their products in their flag.
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FWAERJ
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:14 pm

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 1):
14. If you use the immortal Helvetica and it looks good with the proper kerning, don't replace it with a variation of Frutiger. It'll look fresh for 10 years and then look old again. Any serious graphic designer who understands brand recognition will tell you this.

AA's new custom corporate font, American Sans, is not a variation of Frutiger - it is a derivative of TheSans by LucasFonts. General Motors also has a custom version of this font, called GM Sans.

NW's final identity, however, did use Frutiger (which was originally created for the CDG signage system).
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Independence76
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:41 pm

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 23):
AA's new custom corporate font, American Sans, is not a variation of Frutiger - it is a derivative of TheSans by LucasFonts. General Motors also has a custom version of this font, called GM Sans.

NW's final identity, however, did use Frutiger (which was originally created for the CDG signage system).

Thank you for the correction.

I've always been confused as to what the typeface was based on, as Sirichana Thai and Frutiger are both extremely similar. Some design firms (especially FutureBrand) use TheSans as their go-to font and it's quickly becoming the stereotypical "fresh rebranding" typeface. It a fantastic typeface, but it's becoming so overused so fast that it's not special and it's a shortcut strategy.

To me, it essentially says "we're trying very hard to come up with an alternative to Helvetica, so here you go."


AA's usage of Helvetica was perfectly fine and the kerning kept it looking appealing. There was zero reason to change it and many professional graphic designers would object to its removal in the case of AA.

[Edited 2014-12-23 14:46:25]
 
FWAERJ
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:10 am

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 21):
Now ask yourself - how's the USA image in Middle East and China ?

Re: the Middle East, I agree with your statement. The Ford Focus is the best-selling car in China, GM is the largest automaker in China, and Apple can't make stuff for the Chinese market fast enough, so I don't see your point about China. The Chinese gobble up American (and European) brands while the home market brands (save for a few like Lenovo) are dying.

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 24):
Some design firms (especially FutureBrand) use TheSans as their go-to font and it's quickly becoming the stereotypical "fresh rebranding" typeface. It a fantastic typeface, but it's becoming so overused so fast that it's not special and it's a shortcut strategy.

I work at an ad agency and have followed the ad scene here for even longer. When the Fort Wayne Philharmonic had a competitor of ours redesign their logo several years ago, they actually ditched TheSans for another font with a custom type treatment.

And around here, Gotham and Proxima Nova are the new Helvetica and Arial. Which brings me to your next point:

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 24):
AA's usage of Helvetica was perfectly fine and the kerning kept it looking appealing. There was zero reason to change it and many professional graphic designers would object to its removal in the case of AA.

AA could have used Helvetica as the font in their new identity with no issues. In fact, I think there's a chance that it may have actually looked better with Helvetica, even with the "flag symbol" tail of today.
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Independence76
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:42 am

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 25):
AA could have used Helvetica as the font in their new identity with no issues. In fact, I think there's a chance that it may have actually looked better with Helvetica, even with the "flag symbol" tail of today.

The Helvetica against the gradient-based Flight Symbol did indeed look dated, but I go back to argue that the dramatic rebranding was a bad move. Everything about the original brand was recognizable for many, many people worldwide.

You don't just throw a 45-year-old brand out the window and start with a clean slate. Some major agencies don't respect the concept of "recognition" anymore. Landor Associates is an great example of cautious, critical, and very successful experimentation and evolution.

You can spend years and millions of dollars on a branding project, but you can't buy customer recognition.
 
UPNYGuy
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:49 am

My issue with the AA livery is that it seems too 'here comes honey boo boo". Very obnoxious and in your face, and a little tactless.
 
aerokiwi
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:03 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 20):
Again - all hypothetical conjecture based on ... nothing. Absolutely nothing. I look forward to seeing evidence - any single shred of evidence - that AA's new branding is having even the slightest negative effect, internationally or within the U.S., on AA bookings and profits.

I love this line of argument. So if the livery/branding has no impact on profit, why have one? Or why change what you've got? You may as well just paint it the cheapest colour (white?) and write "American Airlines" on the side, if livery is so unimportant.
 
CF-CPI
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:16 pm

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 1):
The flag tail is atrociously expensive to paint due to the amount of custom-made stencils required for it, and it takes far too long to dry.

Independence, I did enjoy your extensive post, but this one really jumped out. Over the last two years, I have somewhat come to grips with the new tail, in a "not my favorite, but it is unique" way.

Apparently, the Deltaflot "beach towel" livery from 2000 was also very expensive - by virtue of similar templates for all the shading - and this was a factor in going to the more austere mega-widget in 2007. That being said, I really did like Deltaflot, but of course DL employees wanted to forget Leo Mullin.

Are there any operational issues with the long paint dry time? I can just imagine flying out of Miami, around the equator and into the tropics, hoping that paint will actually dry.
 
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garpd
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:31 pm

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 1):
15. There's no way to integrate the flag tail in any brand aspects besides on the plane itself. It's a useless, inflexible piece of art.

Irrelevant and not really clever either.
The tail is a part of a brand image, not THE brand.

The logo and the titles are the brand.
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neutronstar73
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Thu Dec 25, 2014 7:25 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 13):

I'm in disagreement about the old United livery...the blue/white scheme I've never warmed to. The battleship grey was very professional to me.

The new American Airlines tail? Nope. Never liked it and this story is right...they can't use it anywhere else. I think it will be scuttled within 10 years
 
infinit
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 12:03 am

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 1):
12. The tail vote was open to current employees exclusively. It was nearly 50/50 which showcased the controversy behind the horrid design. Unfortunately, retirees who had put 30-40 years into the company were not allowed to vote on its future. Voting was also not open to the public. The #1 comment on the Facebook vote was the tail changed to the Flight Symbol instead and the current flag tail was voted on significantly less than the top comment.

Sounds like marketing myopia. Why didnt they organise a focus group consisting of their customers rather than employees?
 
Independence76
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:02 am

Quoting garpd (Reply 30):
Irrelevant and not really clever either.
The tail is a part of a brand image, not THE brand.

The logo and the titles are the brand.

The tail should be used to showcase the brand in the best way possible. The route they took instead was an understated brand in the design in favor of an advertisement of art.

In design of an aircraft livery with multiple colors, they must be balance of some sort. In the case of AA, it has billboard text (mainline only) against a plain, flat grey fuselage with an extremely busy and colorful tail. It looks tail-heavy.

The fundamentals of the design don't just line up here. Even the boring and plain all-eurowhite liveries at least have balance of some sort.
 
ldvaviation
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:24 am

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 1):
15. There's no way to integrate the flag tail in any brand aspects besides on the plane itself. It's a useless, inflexible piece of art.

In the future, the pattern on the tail could be used by itself. For example, it can be used as a border pattern on ticket jackets, FF cards, etc. The pattern of lines is distinctive enough to merit that kind of treatment. In short, there are enough elements to the new brand that you can change things up in a few years.

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 1):
18. The Zodiac seats put into service on the 77W are admittedly a good hard product, but F and J look like spilled coffee with atrocious hotel carpet-like fabric and the Y seats are an example of what not to do in color theory.

JPA Design screened the fabrics for American. I see various shades of grey with undertones of blue, not spilled-coffee. The goal here was to move American away from its reliance on saturated blue and reds and reflect color trends in high-end home furnishings.

Cathay has been moving in the same direction. But to you their new Haneda lounge will probably look like "spilled coffee," on the walls no less.

As to AA's coach seats, I don't see how they are an example of "what not to do in color theory." The blue in the Y cabin is a "pop" of color against the greys in the other cabins. By "pop," I also mean its use in insulation, as a signifier for American. In other words, by limiting its use in the other cabins and using its so conspicuously in the Y cabin, it is not just blue, but American blue, the color American overused for years in all of its cabins, now given a specific function in the Y cabin.

The single red bar on the top of the coach seat, just where everyone puts their hand, is also an ingenious "pop" of color. This "pop" relates specifically to the tail and invokes the brand simply with shape and color.

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 26):
You don't just throw a 45-year-old brand out the window and start with a clean slate. Some major agencies don't respect the concept of "recognition" anymore. Landor Associates is an great example of cautious, critical, and very successful experimentation and evolution.

The old brand was an evolutionary dead-end. The composition was perfect for its time, as classic as it comes. But it was also outdated with the bars as a cheat line, the titles as titles, and the logo as a tail fin.

Any serious attempt to reinvent the livery was going to have to put the elements in a new composition that reflected how the elements function differently now than in the liveries of the past, hence the use of the titles as a cheat line. In the process, it seems that made the double "A" and scissor eagle either expendable or not as important as they were before.

The real surprise to me is how the bars gained in importance as a result of the new composition. What used to be the most awkward and outdated part of the old livery, as cheat line, now becomes the new logo on the tail. IMO, it is a brilliant rediscovery and takes us back to the time when AA's brand image was almost entirely constituted by two elements, the bars and the company name, American.
 
Independence76
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:10 am

Quoting LDVAviation (Reply 34):
JPA Design screened the fabrics for American. I see various shades of grey with undertones of blue, not spilled-coffee. The goal here was to move American away from its reliance on saturated blue and reds and reflect color trends in high-end home furnishings.

Cathay has been moving in the same direction. But to you their new Haneda lounge will probably look like "spilled coffee," on the walls no less.

I feel the brown tones and beige tones were the wrong choice. The design of the seat's plastics and curves doesn't accent well with those colors. An example of excellent premium and luxurious designs along with the colors chosen would be BA 's F and VS 's J.

Brown and beige tones don't equate to spilled coffee. However, in such an unimaginative form as what was chosen, it's bland and uninteresting. It's a good hard product by itself, but its looks aren't memorable in any way.

Quoting LDVAviation (Reply 34):
As to AA's coach seats, I don't see how they are an example of "what not to do in color theory." The blue in the Y cabin is a "pop" of color against the greys in the other cabins. By "pop," I also mean its use in insulation, as a signifier for American. In other words, by limiting its use in the other cabins and using its so conspicuously in the Y cabin, it is not just blue, but American blue, the color American overused for years in all of its cabins, now given a specific function in the Y cabin.

The single red bar on the top of the coach seat, just where everyone puts their hand, is also an ingenious "pop" of color. This "pop" relates specifically to the tail and invokes the brand simply with shape and color.

The blue is an overused color in Y cabins across the US. VX has a much more down-to-earth approach and the amount of awards and passenger recognition they get from international press outlets speaks for itself.

The dark blue with the "diamond pattern" design adds no depth. From a first look, it's just boring and presents nothing new - no "pop" there, no matter what way it's described. The shade of blue chosen for the fabrics is far different than the blue gradients used on the Flight Symbol. The dark grey headrest is complimented by ... nothing else on the seat.

The rebranding was created months after the new cabin product was unveiled. There was no communication between departments besides overall planning and offered no materials to one another to develop a singular experience. Internally, it was a fragmented project. There's no evidence that the red and blues of the new brand were incorporated in any way.

As for the red bar at the top of the seat, it's out-of-place and distracting. It's the only warm color on the product and it fits in nowhere. It's random color that interrupts the dark grey leather on the headrest. People don't like random, nonsensical color. It adds no "pop" - it's just confusing.

Quoting LDVAviation (Reply 34):
The old brand was an evolutionary dead-end. The composition was perfect for its time, as classic as it comes. But it was also outdated with the bars as a cheat line, the titles as titles, and the logo as a tail fin.

Any serious attempt to reinvent the livery was going to have to put the elements in a new composition that reflected how the elements function differently now than in the liveries of the past, hence the use of the titles as a cheat line. In the process, it seems that made the double "A" and scissor eagle either expendable or not as important as they were before.

The real surprise to me is how the bars gained in importance as a result of the new composition. What used to be the most awkward and outdated part of the old livery, as cheat line, now becomes the new logo on the tail. IMO, it is a brilliant rediscovery and takes us back to the time when AA's brand image was almost entirely constituted by two elements, the bars and the company name, American.

You can accuse Coca Cola of being "an evolutionary dead-end" too. The criteria for such an classification may be something that seems outdated and something people are already very used to (the enemy of "fresh" brands).

However, AA was one of the key brands which made Helvetica a truly iconic (and eventually overused) typeface. It has its place in brand history as a definitively excellent result. 45 years later, and some aspects of the brand were still well-received. Some aspects of the brand were indeed displaying their age, but a simple change of application would have easily sufficed as both a cost-saving approach as well as an effective change without losing any recognition.

Throwing out a brand seen by two generations and trusted by many frequent fliers is, in review, is completely illogical and unnecessarily expensive.

The marketing that was pushed out during the "New American" campaign doesn't change the fact or cover up the ridiculous mistakes made in its production. Steps were skipped, rushed, and ignored. AA and FutureBrand were clearly unprepared for the project and AA learned the hard way that they bit off more than they could chew. But despite the criticism they got from customers and designers afar, chew they did.

Also, the flag tail was not inspired by the cheatlines. It was a piece of art that does a better job of being obnoxious than being artistic. Anyone who has ever taken a stab at the livery design of a US airline (especially AA) would and should know that using the US flag is very unoriginal, unappealing, and is an awkward misuse of color coordination. It's not a nightmare of a combination, but it's far from fashionable, no matter what gradients and lines are integrated into it. Like I said before, against a neutral, grey fuselage, it looks unbalanced and far too busy.

The old AA brand was widely viewed as an icon, regardless of evolutionary abilities. The new AA brand has been criticized extensively and the tail won by a 51/49 vote. That is not a successful brand.
 
ldvaviation
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:21 am

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 35):
I feel the brown tones and beige tones were the wrong choice. The design of the seat's plastics and curves doesn't accent well with those colors. An example of excellent premium and luxurious designs along with the colors chosen would be BA 's F and VS 's J.

It's a matter of taste. I happen to like the fabrics. The fabric of the F seat reminds me of an Eames fabric pattern. I don't think that is coincidental given some of the details of the seat/shell itself. The color/texture/pattern of the J seat fabric reflects current interior design trends. The pattern is understated (almost invisible), the texture is tactile, and the color is a shade of grey.

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 35):
The dark blue with the "diamond pattern" design adds no depth. From a first look, it's just boring and presents nothing new - no "pop" there, no matter what way it's described. The shade of blue chosen for the fabrics is far different than the blue gradients used on the Flight Symbol. The dark grey headrest is complimented by ... nothing else on the seat.

Again, it is a question of taste. Your taste versus that of JPA Design. They have quite a track record.

Yes, there is nothing match-matchy about the colors or patterns. I think that is the point and it is good design.

As to the color of the headrest, it is the one common element in all cabins. It is not supposed to match anything on the seat. No matchy-matchy. It is meant to create continuity between the cabins. Again, smart design.

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 35):
As for the red bar at the top of the seat, it's out-of-place and distracting. It's the only warm color on the product and it fits in nowhere. It's random color that interrupts the dark grey leather on the headrest. People don't like random, nonsensical color. It adds no "pop" - it's just confusing.

You may have an irrational dislike for the color combination, but in interior design red is often used in combination with grey, especially charcoal grey. Google "red+grey+interior+design" and see what comes up.

As to the bar itself, it is not big enough to be distracting.

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 35):
Also, the flag tail was not inspired by the cheatlines. It was a piece of art that does a better job of being obnoxious than being artistic. Anyone who has ever taken a stab at the livery design of a US airline (especially AA) would and should know that using the US flag is very unoriginal, unappealing, and is an awkward misuse of color coordination. It's not a nightmare of a combination, but it's far from fashionable, no matter what gradients and lines are integrated into it. Like I said before, against a neutral, grey fuselage, it looks unbalanced and far too busy.

The old AA brand was widely viewed as an icon, regardless of evolutionary abilities. The new AA brand has been criticized extensively and the tail won by a 51/49 vote. That is not a successful brand.

In explaining the new livery, AA or FutureBrand listed the fundamental elements of the brand. The bars were one of them. In the previous livery, the bars constituted the cheat line. In the new livery, the bars constitute the tail. I did not claim that one inspired the other. I claimed that the bars were given a new function in the new livery.

As to the tail design, it is NOT the US flag. Yes, it invokes the flag, but the pattern also invokes the double A's that used to be on the tail. They are there if you look.

In and of itself, without reference to anything else, it also happens to be a graphically interesting pattern, much the way that Scottish tartans are. It is made more interesting by the fact that it is not a static pattern. From a sideview, there is the implied movement of the alternating bars and thus a reference to the streamline moderne aesthetic that has been one of the stylistic foundations historically of the AA brand. From the front view, there is also the virtual movement as the pattern changes with the blue bars becoming more prominent. While most other tail logos completely disappear from the front, this pattern reveals itself anew as another combination of bars.

As to the composition itself, the billboard titles adequately balance the tail. For an example of an unbalanced livery, see the Delta livery.

As to the success of the brand, it is too early to tell. What is clear is that those who don't like it can't stop talking about it. And yes, I've read the negative criticism almost all of which is on airliners. That's hardly significant.

As to the employee vote, I don't see how that vote speaks to the success of the brand or even the intelligence of the group. Many of the same people recently voted to turn down a wage increase and accept even lower wages in arbitration. Is it possible the same people know more about brand design than labor contracts?
 
777way
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 12:11 pm

The AA flag tail dosent offend me at all, even though I am very anti-US policies, its just that its not well executed and seems like an after thought, maybe something wavy like the Varig scheme would have been better and that too on a grey background not white, just thin red wavy stripes fading as they go higher and a thick blue one close to the top end of the tail, plus the previous eale logo in same layout on fuselage as at present, mostly red with one blue wing.
 
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:21 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 21):
By using a flag tail, AA has directly linked their corporate image to the national image, rightfully or not. Now ask yourself - how's the USA image in Middle East and China ?

Nobody ever said that AA had not wrapped itself in the proverbial American flag - obviously it had. But then, AA has been explicitly linking itself to its home country for literally decades with the name 'American' and it doesn't seem to have been all that big a problem up until now. I doubt changing the tail to have a stylized American flag on it is going to make a difference at this point - doubt anyone was previously confused on what country AA came from but now suddenly realizes it thanks to the tail.

So once again - let us know when you find some evidence, even a shred, that it is actually having the slightest negative impact on AA's business (in the Mid East, China or anywhere else).

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 21):
You're quite mistaken if you think people will completely disassociate the airline from the nation after seeing that tail.

And once again - how is that a bad thing? Please provide some evidence that (1) people will now "completely associate the airline [with] the nation" when they - apparently - wouldn't have previously, and (2) this is somehow a negative for AA's business.

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 21):
Please see their TPAC performance.

   Saw it. Don't see anything in there about the tail. That is such a confounding of variables it's not even funny. There are so many other things going on with AA's Asia financial performance - like poorly-configured aircraft, ramping up capacity, etc., that to attribute any, let alone a large portion, of that performance to a tail design seems laughable.

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 28):
I love this line of argument. So if the livery/branding has no impact on profit, why have one?

Who ever said that? Certainly not me. Nobody ever said that a "livery/branding has no impact on profit." I simply stated that I believe suggestions that this "livery/branding" are having an adverse impact on AA's business, particularly overseas, were baseless, and I will continue to believe that until I see evidence to the contrary.

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 35):
The old AA brand was widely viewed as an icon, regardless of evolutionary abilities. The new AA brand has been criticized extensively and the tail won by a 51/49 vote. That is not a successful brand.

Indeed. The old AA brand was viewed as an icon - and I loved it, and love it still. But I really like the new branding, too. Again - it's entirely subjective.

The new brand has been "criticized extensively" by some branding types and airline enthusiasts, but I don't seem some huge groundswell of anger among customers - the people that matter most. Employee surveys, etc. are equally meaningless in the scheme of things. None of this amounts to "not a successful brand" unless it's hurting AA's business. And, yet again, I've seen absolutely no evidence that this branding is hurting AA's business at all.
 
jetblue1965
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:22 pm

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 35):

Also, the flag tail was not inspired by the cheatlines. It was a piece of art that does a better job of being obnoxious than being artistic. Anyone who has ever taken a stab at the livery design of a US airline (especially AA) would and should know that using the US flag is very unoriginal, unappealing, and is an awkward misuse of color coordination. It's not a nightmare of a combination, but it's far from fashionable, no matter what gradients and lines are integrated into it. Like I said before, against a neutral, grey fuselage, it looks unbalanced and far too busy.

The old AA brand was widely viewed as an icon, regardless of evolutionary abilities. The new AA brand has been criticized extensively and the tail won by a 51/49 vote. That is not a successful brand.

Thanks Independence76. This is the most clear-headed and sensical post in this thread. Welcome to my respected list.

As for the whole "pop" notion ... medium/dark blue compliments/blends-into grey, not "pop" it. A real "popping" example would be Virgin Australia's economy class.

Here's around design-oriented blog about the AA new brand : www.designboom.com/design/futurebrand-american-airlines-rebrand .... read the comments on your own, but let's just say, they're less than stellar
 
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garpd
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:25 pm

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 33):
The tail should be used to showcase the brand in the best way possible

Who says it isn't? You?

You're just an aviation fan. Sorry bud, but that's the hard truth.
Some very talented people worked hard to come up with this brand and the vehicle colour schemes. People with far more qualifications on the subject than you. And no, being a graphic designer doesn't make your opinion more qualified than others. It really doesn't. I've worked in the industry (brand design and livery design) for over 10 years and still don't always get it. Different minds, different tastes.

The brand is as it is. The brand and vehicle livery work well together. The tail is part of the vehicle livery and an extension on the fresh bold and up to date brand. It is not supposed to be integrated with the logo. It is not supposed to appear on stationery and literature alongside the logo.
The livery is fine as is. It's bold, it's fresh, it's 21st century and it communicates a new American Airlines. The brand is very clearly displayed on a clean but not over bland canvass at the front of the aircraft. The tail serves as a beacon to draw your eye upon the aircraft, to stand out amongst the myriad of colour on the airport ramp.

There is no evidence what-so-ever to support any claims that the livery and brand are hurting AA's business performance. None, zilch, nichts, nadda, niente.

Time to accept the new look of AA and move on.

[Edited 2014-12-26 06:35:49]
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jetblue1965
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:51 pm

Quoting garpd (Reply 40):

The livery is fine as is. It's bold, it's fresh, it's 21st century and it communicates a new American Airlines. The brand is very clearly displayed on a clean but not over bland canvass at the front of the aircraft. The tail serves as a beacon to draw your eye upon the aircraft, to stand out amongst the myriad of colour on the airport ramp.

sounds like something straight out of AA's press releases .....
 
AAR90
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:46 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 38):
The new brand has been "criticized extensively" by some branding types and airline enthusiasts, but I don't seem some huge groundswell of anger among customers - the people that matter most. Employee surveys, etc. are equally meaningless in the scheme of things. None of this amounts to "not a successful brand" unless it's hurting AA's business. And, yet again, I've seen absolutely no evidence that this branding is hurting AA's business at all.

Seems we've heard this said before but perhaps less eloquently:

"Most of our customers don't care what the outside of the airplane looks like," Parker said.
"It doesn't affect their purchase decisions. (But) it's really important to employees,
who care a lot about it, and I care about that."
--the STREET 03/05/2013
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
robsaw
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:21 pm

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 42):
Seems we've heard this said before but perhaps less eloquently:

"Most of our customers don't care what the outside of the airplane looks like," Parker said.
"It doesn't affect their purchase decisions. (But) it's really important to employees,
who care a lot about it, and I care about that." --the STREET 03/05/2013

Which makes sense. The typical customer sees far more of web-site logos, logos at ticket, check-in, gate counters and other points of sale and marketing than they do on the aircraft. Given that AA already has massive brand recognition (for the name) the real question is do the changes to non-aircraft branding actually have a measurable impact.
 
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:02 pm

Quoting LDVAviation (Reply 36):
For an example of an unbalanced livery, see the Delta livery.

I was wondering how long it would take you to somehow bring Delta into the equation...  
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jetblue1965
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:40 pm

Quoting robsaw (Reply 43):
Given that AA already has massive brand recognition (for the name) the real question is do the changes to non-aircraft branding actually have a measurable impact.
Quoting garpd (Reply 40):

There is no evidence what-so-ever to support any claims that the livery and brand are hurting AA's business performance. None, zilch, nichts, nadda, niente.

So both of you essentially argued that the whole branding and repainting exercise was a huge waste of money

But the funniest line of thought is claiming branding only brings positive or neutral attribution, but never brings negative ones.
 
Independence76
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:24 pm

I'd like to clarify to those arguing if the brand's success creates a variable bottom-line:

A company can be financially successful with a problematic or unsuccessful brand. AA on the financial end has done a fantastic job, and for this reason I don't argue with Horton's credibility to the restructuring turnaround. The success of a company and the success of a brand can be two completely different things.

People still feel iffy about the new brand, but the airline continues to make record profits and process the merger seamlessly.

Quoting garpd (Reply 40):
Who says it isn't? You?

The American flag is not used in any other way within the airline's branding. If it's not remotely the focus of the brand, why include it to such an important application in the airline branding process?

Quote:

You're just an aviation fan. Sorry bud, but that's the hard truth.
Some very talented people worked hard to come up with this brand and the vehicle colour schemes. People with far more qualifications on the subject than you. And no, being a graphic designer doesn't make your opinion more qualified than others. It really doesn't. I've worked in the industry (brand design and livery design) for over 10 years and still don't always get it. Different minds, different tastes.

Actually I've worked in the industry and I'm currently talking to another airline about a branding project right now. So no, I'm not exactly an Airliners.net "armchair fan."

They may have been talented (for me to deny that would be disrespectful), but if you look at my list of issues in Reply #2, the rebranding project was fragmented, disorganized, and unprepared internally. Most of which I said was not opinion, but the reality of what actually occurred.

With the AA branding controversy, almost everybody has (or at least had) a different opinion. I will say once again: that response is not a successful launch and should not be used as a positive example by any designer or marketing department.

Quote:

The brand is as it is. The brand and vehicle livery work well together. The tail is part of the vehicle livery and an extension on the fresh bold and up to date brand. It is not supposed to be integrated with the logo. It is not supposed to appear on stationery and literature alongside the logo.

Then it's a waste of space, paint, money, and custom-made stencils. The line of practicality now has been crossed.

Quote:

The livery is fine as is. It's bold, it's fresh, it's 21st century and it communicates a new American Airlines. The brand is very clearly displayed on a clean but not over bland canvass at the front of the aircraft. The tail serves as a beacon to draw your eye upon the aircraft, to stand out amongst the myriad of colour on the airport ramp.

There is no evidence what-so-ever to support any claims that the livery and brand are hurting AA's business performance. None, zilch, nichts, nadda, niente.

Time to accept the new look of AA and move on.

Here's my personal opinion on "fresh:" it's a short-term, short-cut, and short-lived. I love fresh things as much as the next guy. I love designing fresh things. Unfortunately, people look back at "fresh" things in the past few decades and sometimes laugh. The 21st century is no exception. The truly successful brands create and rise above the trends. AA's Vignelli brand was an example of that with the long-term usage of Helvetica, which many agree still looks appealing. Responsibility and discipline in the approach is essential to success of a brand in the long-term. I personally believe the "fresh" outlook often ignores such things.

My above comment clarifies my view on the "brand vs. financial performance" debate.


We've all accepted it and there's nowhere to go but forward. However, as my list in Reply #2 shows, the AA brand development is an example to all future marketing staff and graphic designers of what not to do and what to consider when an icon is being retired in favor of a clean-slate look.

[Edited 2014-12-26 12:37:15]
 
eugdjinn
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:38 pm

Wait, that's supposed to be a flag on the tail???

I thought it was a very nice and creative version of a piano keyboard! It just always makes me think of Rhapsody in Blue... and other Gershwin classics...

so much so that I thought it was a clever swipe at United for not coming up with a real new livery.


(o.k., I'll take my tongue out of my cheek now.) Still, I just always think, 'Hey, there goes another Piano Plane!'
 
ldvaviation
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:33 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 39):
Here's around design-oriented blog about the AA new brand : www.designboom.com/design/futurebrand-american-airlines-rebrand .... read the comments on your own, but let's just say, they're less than stellar

Ain't the internet great? Everyone has an opinion even if he or she is not qualified to have one.

Quoting OA412 (Reply 44):
I was wondering how long it would take you to somehow bring Delta into the equation...  

Ad hominem arguments aside, the Delta livery is unbalanced.
 
aerokiwi
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RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:44 pm

Quoting garpd (Reply 30):
Irrelevant and not really clever either.
The tail is a part of a brand image, not THE brand.

The logo and the titles are the brand.

Not irrelevant at all and also, incorrect - the tail is very much part of the brand. It's a livery element that contributes to the overall brand. And Independence is right - it hasn't and likely can't be used in any other component of the branding, which seems like a pretty big waste.

Quoting LDVAviation (Reply 34):
The old brand was an evolutionary dead-end.

Only if you have the imagination of a paper towel.

Quoting LDVAviation (Reply 36):
but in interior design red is often used in combination with grey, especially charcoal grey.

Sure, in 1988.

Quoting commavia (Reply 38):
Who ever said that? Certainly not me. Nobody ever said that a "livery/branding has no impact on profit."

You said it had no negative impact...

Quoting commavia (Reply 20):
I look forward to seeing evidence - any single shred of evidence - that AA's new branding is having even the slightest negative effect, internationally or within the U.S., on AA bookings and profits.

So where's the proof it's had a positive impact? There's none because you can't attribute a rebrand to improved financials. Ergo, branding and livery don't matter, unless you have proof of a positive financial impact - and I'm talking causation, not correlation here.

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 45):
So both of you essentially argued that the whole branding and repainting exercise was a huge waste of money

But the funniest line of thought is claiming branding only brings positive or neutral attribution, but never brings negative ones.

Exactly. Some kind of logic leap.

Quoting garpd (Reply 40):
The brand is as it is. The brand and vehicle livery work well together. The tail is part of the vehicle livery and an extension on the fresh bold and up to date brand. It is not supposed to be integrated with the logo. It is not supposed to appear on stationery and literature alongside the logo.

Who says, you? See what I did there. Independence offered a solid rebuttal on several of the design points of the new livery and branding. All you've offered is a catch-all dismissal of dissenting opinion and some marketing guff speak that reads like an AA press release. Combined with what appears to be some insider knowledge, I think I'll stick with Independence on his assessment that actually adds some insight into the gestation of this turkey.
 
Independence76
Posts: 416
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:59 pm

RE: "Brand Sins" Takes On American Airlines...

Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:51 pm

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 49):
So where's the proof it's had a positive impact? There's none because you can't attribute a rebrand to improved financials. Ergo, branding and livery don't matter, unless you have proof of a positive financial impact - and I'm talking causation, not correlation here.

To be fair, AA did post Facebook and social media "popularity statistics" and showed that post the January 17th rebranding reveal, their numbers certainly skyrocketed.

However, I'd argue this isn't a good way to measure it. As soon as the new brand was revealed, there was a massive increase in marketing of the airline in general. It was a logical time to do it of course, but the timing of it in no way can be considered "absolute proof" the brand spiked the popularity. They turned out commercials and web ads like never before.

You're going to get noticed with a slew of new, fresh ads. Doesn't always matter what brand you're using.

[Edited 2014-12-26 16:35:35]

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