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January 17, 2013

Eight shades of gray, I mean, silver

Don't change the "silver bird."

That's what customers and employees told American Airlines executives two years ago when the Fort Worth-based carrier first started working on a new livery.

And while executives chose the new tail and brand design a year ago, finding the right silver paint for its planes took until December.

“‘How can we find the perfect silver paint to mimic the silver polish?’ and that was, from my perspective the challenging part of the rebranding,” American's chief commercial officer Virasb Vahidi said on Thursday.

At one point, American pulled one of its MD-80s out of service, parked it at Meachem Airport in Fort Worth and painted it eight different shades of silver. (Technically, it was four colors but they had two shades of mica, according to Vahidi.)

Last December, American chief executive Tom Horton and other executives went to Meacham and stared at the aircraft under the sun.

"Finally, Tom looks at me and says 'Virasb, we're looking for that silver metallic look when people look at your car - I have a silver car - and everybody says it's silver, so why don't we get your car and bring it and park it next to the aircraft," Vahidi said. "So we parked it under these 8 different shades and we all pointed and said "That's the one that looks like the silver in the car.'"

-Andrea Ahles

 

 

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Comments

Joe Kilfeather

Oh cause that explains alot !!!! using a car, instead of asking the employees. Typical Tom !!!!! You missed a "teachable" moment. By getting employees involved in THIER future. Trust could have been built. Funny, How You value Your CAR over Us!!!

Hillrider

What car does Virasb drive?

Tom Janovsky

When I saw the photo of the "new" AA livery in last week's Wall Street Journal (and later in L.A. Times), I did not know if I should laugh or cry - but it is a poor foreplay to the U.S. Air merger, and if American cannot do beter than this, then it is no wonder it has been in such a financial mess for so many years.
Tom Janovsky, CEO
Midnight Flight Airways, Los Angeles, CA

Joseph Salema

This was the most ridiculous thing this management group has done yet. The AA logo has been the brand of American since day one, you don't discard a companies identity, it's brand on a whim. You tweak the logo, update it, modernize it. This is Marketing 101 and any advertising firm knows that. This was totally ego driven, just like all the other decisions this management group has made since Crandall stepped down. What really amazes me the most is, how can you spend the millions of dollars to update everything in the company, to reflect this change but you don't have the money to pay your creditors? And what happened to the mantra of American that not painting the planes, saved on weight therefore, achieving fuel savings. This management group is a joke, they should all be fired, especially the person who came up with the idea and design for the new livery!

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