Mascots matter. Here are some mascots that have changed the way we think about airlines.
- Maharaja’ of Air India airlines, is a creation by JWT and became a famous identity of Indians overseas. The King of Mascots symbolizes ‘Maharaja’ (king) like treatment to the airline travelers.
Since AI is symbolized by the Maharajah and could not be retired, the company decided to update his image to make him more aligned with modern times. The Maharajah now has a leaner, young, sporty and more dynamic look and has made a big comeback in their ad campaigns. They are using 27 different pictures of the new and cooler Maharajah to advertise some of the destinations they fly to. One of the new Maharajah mascots will be a member of the Indian cricket team impressing everyone with his stroke play.
- Porter, a regional Canadian airline, has built their brand through print and animated ads featuring a jet-setting raccoon mascot, called Mr. Porter.
Mr. Porter debuted in 2006 and was the work of London-based branding and design agency called, Winkreative. The graphic, black and white raccoon evokes a nostalgic feeling of more carefree retro air travel. Today, Mr. Porter is inseparable from the brand, showing up on the company’s brochures, water bottle labels and in-flight meal boxes. Founder and CEO, Robert Deluce, says that their mascot choice was no accident. “They are intelligent, adaptable creatures that succeed in a variety of environments and unfavorable conditions.”
- When Frontier Airlines, the Denver-based low-cost carrier, returned to PHL Airport with flights to seven cities, they celebrated by showcasing Foxy, their fox mascot at the PHL airport.
“Foxy the Fox” and “Grizwald the Bear” are just two of the 60 mascots painted on the tails of Frontier planes as part of the “A Whole Different Animal” ad campaign. Since 2003, the airline has been running quirky commercials where animals playfully talk with one another or airline employees, or sometimes break out in song. This mascot is so well loved that in 2010 a group of about 150 employees held signs and chanted “Save Our Animals, Save Our Tails” as part of a demonstration when the company considered retiring Foxy.
- Southwest Airlines in Dallas announced their new mascot, T. J. LUV, on social media.
T.J. LUV sightings are rare because he only makes appearances at very special events and promotions. One intern who spent the summer as T.J. said, “I viewed a lot through the nose of Spirit, the life-size airplane. If I ever get to be T.J. again, I think I might wear roller skates. Skating with big wheels on your feet would be much easier than trying to walk!”
T.J even kept his cool when ten- and twelve-year olds who wanted to know why T.J. wasn’t talking tried to get a reaction by poking his nose and messing with the wings. But T.J. survived their teasing with flying colors and kept his mouth zipped.