Temerlin Eases American Into Post-Sept. 11 World

American Airlines’ newest set of commercials is transitional, advancing the carrier’s advertising message beyond reacting to the events of Sept. 11.

Two 60-second commercials, which retain a patriotic flavor, broke Feb. 14 on network television in seven markets, including the client’s Dallas/Fort Worth headquarters.

“Engine” and “Way of Life” both depict gleaming aircraft and a montage of actual American Airlines employees at work.

Text that flashes on-screen claims that the carrier is “more than an airline.” The copy variously describes the client as an economic engine and as a way of life encompassing freedom, confidence and peace of mind.

Both spots end with a shot of a silver plane flying above the clouds into an orange sun. The concluding super: “We are an airline that is proud to bear the name American.”

The two ads were created by American’s longtime agency, Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas.

Rob Britton, American’s managing director of advertising and marketing planning, said, “We’re viewing it very much as a transitional message.”

American is in something of a holding pattern, he said, as the company determines just how quickly it can evolve its brand message.

“Obviously there’s no template for how to run our business in light of the trauma of last fall, so we’re going slower,” Britton said.

“These commercials focus on the vital role that Amercan plays in economic development worldwide, and more fundamentally on its role as a business that brings people together,” he continued.

The spots are the first the carrier has released since “The great American get-together” holiday campaign.

The media budget for the new campaign was not disclosed. Spots begin airing this week on national cable channels such as CNN, CNBC, A&E and The History Channel.

Agency credits include group creative director Bill Oakley; associate creative director and copywriter Molly McLaren; associate creative director and art director Barbara Stampley; producer Barry Lisee; and Steve Ford, music.