When it comes to brand mascots, birds seem to soar above all the rest of the creatures in the animal kingdom. It may be because bird species are so distinctively different, not just in how they look and sound, but in temperament and personality traits. Some are peace-loving; others aggressive. Some are sweet and melodious; others playful and loud. Birds also are closely identified with specific regions of the world. No matter what your brand attributes are, there is probably a bird species that is right for you. Which brings us to our quiz. Guess which brands these birds represent.
When it comes to branding commercial aircraft, the tail comes before the nose. The tailfin is the tallest part of the plane. It’s the last thing people on the ground see as the plane lifts off. And pretty much the only part they see when the plane is parked buy adobe acrobat nose first at the gate. It is a flying billboard, which is why airline branding experts focus most of their attention on designing memorable graphics for the tail. See if you can match the airline with these tails. Answers on next page.
Was it coincidence or the result of ignoring feng shui (positive energy flow), but as it happened Japan Airlines’ fortunes began to decline precipitously not long after it dropped its crane logo from its livery in 2002 and adopted a nondescript red slash mark as its brand identity. In 2010, JAL was even forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Coincidence? We think not.
This month JAL announced that it will go back to the original red crown crane logo that it had used for more than 40 years, beginning in 1959. In Japanese culture, the crane is viewed as a symbol of long life, prosperity and good health, and red is the color of happiness. That’s why for weddings, anniversaries and other auspicious occasions, the custom is to decorate with a thousand origami cranes to express good wishes. JAL’s current red slash logo has no such significance, no matter how much it has been described as a “sliver of the sun” or the tip of a samurai sword. Interestingly, even though the sliver mark had been in use for nearly a decade, most people still associate the red crane with JAL.