Airline Branding – Taking it to a New Altitude!

As we tend to immerse ourselves daily in brands and keep an eye out for ones that strike a cord, I came across this creative brand gesture for Kulula Airlines. Kulula Air is a South African based low-fare airline operating domestic services out of Johannesburg to all major cities and flies regional services to Namibia, Mauritius, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

With airline branding over the years becoming increasingly more prominent such as underbelly’s being completely painted in the airline’s corporate colour enabling visibility of the brand cruising at 20,000 ft, to entire aircraft bodies being painted for one off sponsorship deals, the Kulula marketing department and their brand agency were definitely thinking outside the box when they came up with this livery on one of their Boeing 737‘s.

Called ‘Flying 101’ it’s entirely covered with details and remarks about the plane – details and remarks of course that the everyday traveller’s would use making it that much more appealing ie. the captain’s window is marked with ‘the big cheese’, the co-pilot’s window with ‘co-captain’ (the other pilot on the PA system) and the jump seat is for ‘wannabe pilots’

After doing some further research, I came across a paper written by Paul Ross, Global Brand Director, DDB Finance and I quote, “Airlines must focus on the brand experience, because in today’s environment customers will choose the carrier that provides the best overall value. By focusing on the brand experience, not only will airlines retain existing customers, but they will also attract others disgruntled with the competition”.

This made me think that airlines have many consumer touch points and each is an opportunity to reinforce brand value so the question begs, what ROI could be gained from branding an aircraft with this particular type of messaging? I’m no sign writer nor painter but I’d hazard a guess that painting an aircraft head-to-toe wouldn’t be a cheap exercise so you’d want to make sure that you get your messaging right and add value to your brand!

If you need creative ways in bringing your brand and brand values to life whilst getting the best ROI possible, why not give us a call.

Dominic Guthrie
Client Account Director


  1. I really enjoyed this blog Dominic. I travel by air a fair bit by air and I agree that it’s the over-all experience (and ticket price) that attracts me to an airline. I love the brand personality of these guys – this is where brand design becomes really valuable as a differentiator.

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