What the Hell Is Joon? An Impeccably Designed New Airline Says It’s Not All About Flying

Is this our ticket out of travel hell?

Headshot of Angela Natividad

Remember when Virgin Airlines launched, all the lofty promises it made to ban mediocrity from our traveling experience, and how sad we all were when it vanished into the horizon?

Five months later, we’re trapped in the hinterlands of air travel—where seats get skinnier, cabin baggage is almost nonexistent, and that one airline we literally just booked for our last trip went bankrupt overnight, leaving us stranded in an overheated airport without explanation … or even an apologetic employee to explain what gives to 20 angsty people dragging luggage and burdensome U-shaped pillows through the no-man’s-land of MIA.

Flying sucks. We are frisked. No one cares if we live or die. There is no one to turn to for help.

But maybe—just maybe—hope is rising again, in the form of Air France’s Joon.

The difference this time? Flying isn’t the main thing it offers. Under the unlikely heading “Also an Airline,” and with some chic footwork from agency BETC Paris, this sassy new player is offering a “total travel experience” for a younger, more demanding set of globetrotters.

What is Joon? Joon is a fashion brand. It’s also a rooftop bar, a personal assistant, an on-demand TV channel—hey, this is starting to sound like our freelance résumé—and, oh yeah! It’s “also an airline,” branded electric blue, or Pantone 2736C, to get the point across. (Virgin already took red, and Virgin America ain’t flying anymore, so red’s over, clearly. Anyway it’s overused, along with that sleepy official bluemarine … not unlike Air France’s own logo, actually.)

“We wanted to create a direct, friendly and authentic brand,” explains Air France global brand vp Caroline Fontaine. “The choice of this electric blue immediately illustrates this strong identity. All these elements, this innovative spirit, are portrayed in a film that introduces Joon’s brand territory. It depicts two flights attendants representing the fun spirit of the ‘Joon, also an airline’ experience. The soundtrack is by electro pop group Blanche Palace.”

Clearly Air France is as excited about the trimmings as it is about the many things Joon offers. In the ad, two “flight attendants” energetically dance to Blanche Palace’s “Sometimes,” marking a departure from Air France’s more cinched and dreamy parent branding (though it manages to be just as stylish).

What it’s selling is a 360° lifestyle, branded by agency Brandimage alongside BETC, for a generation whose denizens can no longer afford to be just one thing (not unlike airlines themselves).

The flight attendant uniforms are exactly what you see here—slimline trousers, sneakers, revamped sailor stripes and sleeveless quilted jackets. And while it remains unclear what Joon’s many services will amount to on the airstrip, the brand plans to offer organic dishes, entertainment “in tune with the times” and even car-care services while you’re away.

Communications are, appropriately, 100 percent digital and will unroll under the hashtag #weflyjoon. Social media will appear throughout the year, with help from influencers representing each of its five launch destinations: Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, Porto and Lisbon—now a Tyler Brûlé-endorsed hot spot.

In keeping with Joon’s promise to be a “total travel partner,” ads to follow will reveal tips to discovering city secrets, not unlike Airbnb’s commitment to show you the world as locals experience it.

With the loss of Virgin America, and sores on our knees still fresh from rubbing the mesh backside of an anorexic seatback, we’ve grown cynical in our traveling years. Here’s hoping Joon’s got what it takes to lift standards again. Given the zero-sum state of travel today, we have a horrible suspicion its success will have a lot to do with how much its parent is willing to invest in its growth over the long term … not to mention how well its rooftop bar fares.

How many $15 cocktails need buying to pay for jetfuel? We’re only half-kidding.

Brand: Joon (Air France)
Brand Management: Caroline Fontaine, Frédéric Praca, Benoist Eraville, Claire Morlon, Myriam Issaad
Agency: Betc
Agency Management: Bertille Toledano, Tiphaine Du Plessis, Brune Failliot, Marie Lequime, Kim Jacovidis, Almire Brosseron
Chief Creative Officer: Rémi Babinet
Executive Creative Director: Ivan Beczowksi
Creative Director: Margot Helfter
Art Director: Hugo Cals Antoine Montes
Graphic Designer / Web Designer: Samy Ghoumane
Copywriter: Julie Martin
Junior Copywriter: Charles Barraud
Strategic Planning: Sébastien Houdusse, Vincent Colonna Cesari
Social Media Planner: Constance Bonardi
TV Producer: Sandy Semelin, Blandine Vives
Production Company: Rita
Sound Production: Gum
Media Plan: Film (60s), Catch-Up And Display 4 Films (15s), Catch-Up, Display, Social Media, Social Media Display Campaign
Available Formats: 60s, 4X15s / Displays Html5
Production: Rita Films
Director: Jérémy Charbit
Producer: Elodie Andurand
D.O.P.: Axel Cosnefroy
Production designer: Audrey Malécot
Choreographer: Cathy Ematchoua
Music: Studio : Gum
Artist: Blanche Palace, “Sometimes”

@luckthelady angela.natividad@gmail.com Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.