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Branding that’s Right on the Nose

JetBlue plane
Another wry name “Just Plane Blue.”

We talk about “branding” a lot in marketing. This often entails a company’s identity – logo, colors, type – as well as the copy tone or voice. We rarely hear about “brand personality.” Those little things that show a company’s distinct character attributes that set it apart from its competitors. A great example is JetBlue. I look forward to seeing the irreverent names on the nose of their planes whenever I travel.

Here are some examples of JetBlue plane names:

Ba Da Bing, Ba Da Blue

Blue Look Maaahvelous

Devil with a Blue Dress

May the Force Be with Blue

Bippity Boppity Blue

It Had to Be Blue

Yes, every name has “Blue” in it. Each one is incredibly whimsical and sends a two-pronged message loud and clear: “We are not a boring company” and “We want our customers to enjoy every part of their flight.”

I wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall to see who made the decision to name all the planes, who was involved in the brainstorming, and who approved them. A dream assignment, if you ask me. It must’ve been such a blast to come up with the 245 names (to date) that make their fleet so endearing and entertaining.

The Investment in Brand Personality

It’s not a typical branding assignment to focus on ways to establish brand personality. And it would be challenging to measure the ROI. Yet I have no doubt that it contributed greatly to this airline’s popularity. Every month lots of folks are Googling “JetBlue plane names.” They’re finding multiple sites that make it a playful game to keep up with all of them, such as this one and this one.

From a strategic standpoint, it was a great icebreaker. This charismatic brand personality instantly created a deeper connection with passengers. Naming inanimate objects is something a lot of us do as a way to express our creativity and fondness for things we value like bikes, boats, and cars.

When JetBlue launched, it faced stiff headwinds from established airlines. Right out of the gate, it did a lot to improve the passenger experience – a TV for every seat, Terra Blue potato chips and other desirable snacks and beverages, plus complimentary sleep masks on red-eye flights. As time passed, their competitors caught up and offered similar perks.

Yet they all lack that certain “je nais se quois” – names like “Deja Blue.” The ability to make their passengers chuckle at the sight of their planes after going through the travelers’ obstacle course of packing, rushing to the airport, checking in and enduring TSA inspections cannot be discounted. Even if it can’t be precisely quantified.

Those JetBlue plane names have shown us that underneath the corporate facade of this airline, there are some fun people at the helm who thought of the customer experience from every conceivable angle.

What are your favorite JetBlue names? Would you like to add more personality to your own brand? If you need help conjuring up ways to establish or amplify your brand personality, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

A Creative High Five for a Kinomap Email

I get a lot of promotional emails every day. Fortunately, they do not interrupt my day with the constant din of notifications. True confessions: just about everything I receive goes through my Sanebox application and filtered into a SaneNews folder or a SaneLater folder. Near the end of the day, I get a summary from Sanebox of everything that came in. Scanning the list of emails and their respective subject headings is like being a judge of my own email award show. Shall we call it the “Spammies?”

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A Creative High Five for a Colgate Commercial

In honor of Earth Day tomorrow, this week’s Creative High Five goes to Colgate. This “Every Drop Counts” commercial initially caught my attending during the Super Bowl. This ad, created by the Y&R Agency/Peru (originally in 2014 for World Water Day in Peru and Columbia), was so compelling that it not only moved the needle for Colgate sales, but for a bunch of charities focused on providing clean water for others.

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A Creative High Five for a Great U. of Phoenix Ad

I saw this University of Phoenix commercial air during the morning news and was mesmerized by its thoughtful rendition of the Wizard of Oz’s “If I Only had a Brain.” I was instantly taken by how its advertising agency, 180LA, took a popular sentimental song and gave it a smart twist to appeal to its audience. Personally, I’ve found writing lyrics for an ad to be one of the hardest assignments I’ve ever taken on. I remember struggling with it...

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A "Creative High Five" Series

Every year there’s a heightened expectation that we’ll see some wonderful ads during the Super Bowl. The rest of the year, we drop our expectations like a rock. After being exposed to an estimated 10,000 advertising messages a day, we’ve learned to block most of it out as if we’ve become inoculated. No wonder. A lot of it is “schlock.”

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