Iconic Ads in Modern Times: Pan Am Vs. Southwest

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The Times, They are A-Changin’

Pan American Airlines was the iconic American airline. Audiences of the early 1960s were met with futuristic advertisements boasting the luxury of air travel with attractive young stewardesses. Looking at Pan Am’s marketing and advertisements, it’s easy to see that it was specifically geared towards a very narrow audience. However, as times changed, flying became a part of the average American culture instead of a luxury event and the market for airlines has never been the same.

Why Pan American Airlines Ads Worked

When Pan Am first began marketing, flying commercial was very much a leisure and luxury activity for an affluent market. Commercial flights were designed to be an exciting and entertaining experience for the cultural elite. With a focus on their specialty services and comfortable, spacious airplanes, Pan Am was more than the fastest way to your destination – it was the 5-star hotel of the skies.

The Market Shift

Today, flying is as common as taking a bus, with 3.6 billion people getting a flight in 2016 and close to 90,000 domestic flights every day.

Iconic Blog_3This is a drastic change from the 1960’s and with it came a dramatic shift in the airline marketing strategies. Airlines no longer focus strongly on trying to woo one socioeconomic class. Instead, they try and appeal to all types of travelers through ads that promise low rates and efficiency. Southwest is a great example of a commercial airline that understands the change in the customer’s expectations and have geared their advertisements to target the average American. Southwest’s big push on love for the customer and “Transfarency” are simplifying the prospect of flight and have made airline tickets a more casual purchase.

Market Research is the Key

When we compare Pan American Airlines and Southwest advertisements, it was clear each brand was selling to very different markets. As the product has evolved, ad strategies have changed as well.

At Ideas Collide, we are experts in market research and we want to help you understand your products potential to appeal to new audiences. Are you interested in learning more about how Ideas Collide can assist with marketing research? Learn more about our services and contact us today!

Posted on August 15, 2017 in Observations & Trends

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