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10 Vintage Airline Commercials That Will Melt Your Heart


10 Vintage Airline Commercials That Will Melt Your Heart

The 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s were so special. The aviation industry was taking its first spectacular steps and, at the same time, television was rapidly growing to become the main medium of communication. The power of advertisements was invaluable; however, the message has to be short and persuasive. Nowadays, the situation has changed in favor of the Internet – the commercials are displayed mainly as pop-ups on the most-viewed websites, they are added to a Facebook news feed as ‘Sponsored’ or sent directly to your email. Let’s forget about the modern era for a moment. Step back in time to the previous era and try to imagine your TV set is the only connection with the most jaw-dropping goods and services. You are tempted to fly in the remote parts of the world where your parents or grandparents could only dream of. The viewer, as a potential customer, is tempted by a multitude of possibilities on board and a variety of attractions on the spot. Here are 10 vintage airline commercials that will not only melt your heart but also will make you feel sentimental about airlines that no longer exist and planes that can be admired in the museums or are stored in “airplane boneyards” or graveyards where they can only expect being scrapped or dismantled.

Enjoy this wonderful journey and make sure to turn on your loudspeakers before clicking a ‘play’ button!

1. Continental Airlines – “We Really Move Our Tail For You!”

Continental Airlines,  so-called “the proud bird with the golden tail”, was merged by United Airlines in 2010. They were active since they were found in 1934. A tune in this ad is an absolute earworm so have a nice singing ‘we really move our tail for you’ for the rest of the day! 😉

2.THAI Airways – a Boeing Like an Elephant

A man sitting on a roof a Boeing 747-300 may seem absurd and ridiculous, I know. But remember a Boeing B-747 is nicknamed “Jumbo”, which strongly relates to a Disney elephant. I suppose the figure of an elephant was chosen by THAI Airways in this commercial to emphasize a huge impact of this creature on Thai culture. Remember it’s their national emblem.

3. LOT Polish Airlines – Bolek and Lolek Cartoon

As a native Pole, I can give you a short but reliable comment who the children are in LOT Polish Airlines advertisement. These are brothers, one of whom is Bolek and the second is Lolek. Bolek is taller and dark-haired, whereas Lolek is shorter and almost bald. They were the main characters in one of the popular children’s animated cartoon displayed on the TV from the early 60’s until late 80’s on a regular basis. They are one of the icons of Polish children bed-time stories. It’s one of those cartoons that connects generations so Bolek and Lolek are the widely recognizable icons even for the youngest who are watching the stories together with their parents. By the way, how do you like a flight attendant’s English accent? 😉

4. British Airways – The Crowd Art

I love creativity and thinking out-of-the-box. This commercial is a perfect combination of synchronizing a huge group of people, colors and creating a winking face that converts into a red and blue globe.  Well done, British Airways! Although the commercial was first presented to the public 18 years ago, it is timeless and original in every second.

5. Varig Lockheed L-188A Electra

Let’s move to South America now. Varig, which is an abbreviation for Viação Aérea RIo-Grandense, was the first airline founded in 1927, Brasil. As a result of a reorganization, Varig was split into two companies – the “old” Varig that continues the long traditions, which defuncts now and the “new” one, which in 2000 changed their name into Gol Transportes Aéreos and is active until today.

6. Qantas – “I Hate Qantas!” By a Koala Bear

This ad shouldn’t be taken seriously. Qantas, Australia’s national carrier, for many decades gathered a tremendous number of fans. The company could make a joke about itself and present a Koala bear who claims how it hates Qantas for its best fares and bringing tourists to Australia.

7. South African Airways – a Bird Metaphor

South African Airways used different birds species to emphasize a great spectrum of advantages of flying with their carrier. Definitely, they should score some bonus points for anti-cliché commercial.

8. Singapore Airlines – A Day in the Life of a Singapore Girl

A one-minute day in the life of a Singapore Girl, a flight attendant for Singapore Airlines, presents the charm of a city gives a viewer a tiny glimpse of a regular day at work of a stewardess. Everyone loves Singapore Girls because of their beauty and their elegant and never-out-of-fashion uniform. I wish I had my own.

9. Indian Airlines – You’re Amongst Your Own

Indian Airlines, later known as Indian, in 2011 merged into Air India carrier. A nice combination of a young savvy girl who is not afraid to make an airline captain ashamed of not being familiar with the features of an economy class seat.

10. KLM – The Swan Campaign

KLM, you really rock! I love this ad – it’s inventive, hilarious, simple and depicting a swan as the main object of this commercial makes it never outdated. With a growing popularity of Royal Dutch Airline KLM, I’m nearly 100% sure the only thing they’ll need to update in this video is the frequency of the KLM planes taking off.

Summary

Watching all these ads was a great pleasure for me and I found it challenging sometimes to make a choice of 10 best. I know this list may not contain a valuable ad or ads that may be one of your favorite. If you know any of these that should be here and they’re not – please let me know in the comment below. Which one of the 10 commercials presented in this blog post do you like the most? To be honest, I claim it is the KLM swan that I like the most. What about you? 🙂

Emilia Barska
About me

General English teacher and Aviation English specialist. Devoting her free time to sharing her expert knowledge how to pass an ICAO exam with flying colors. She enjoys reading crime stories, listening to heavy metal music and sipping a vanilla latte.

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