American Airlines - We Know Why You Fly

Client: American Airlines
Role: Web Design / UI Design / Creative Direction

American Airlines was faced with many challenges in the wake of September 11th, and it became imperative that they reestablished trust, showed experiences other than flying, and differentiated their brand from the many airlines currently in the market. 

Webby AwardsHonoree
Communication Arts Site of the Week
AdobeSite of the Day
Web AwardsBest Airline Website
ADDY AwardsBronze

Their target was “high-value flyers” who cared how they got from point A to point B and who traveled frequently. Prices were at an all-time low so trying to compete on price alone without brand differentiation to create value would be a disaster. American’s greatest strength is that it’s the world’s largest airline, and they face challenges every day that other airlines never see.  


Rebuilding an iconic brand after the September 11th attacks

The We Know Why You Fly campaign was born out of the challenge detailed above as well as the tragedy of September 11th. We had to change the conversation to make customers think about the emotional moments that happen during a trip and not the process of traveling, which was not something most people wanted to think about at the time. We felt that changing that conversation to be more emotional and less about the product offering was a strategic opportunity and it was American’s first new branding campaign in over ten years. has the heart of the new campaign giving consumers the chance to send in their own video, photos, and stories about why they fly. The best entries were used as TV commercials that ran nationally.

100k bookings and $49 million in flown revenue in the first year had over 10.3 million page views.  The average length of the visit was 3 minutes 1 second.  16,794 people forwarded it to a friend, and 40,471 played “Match Me” the game. An online tracking study had positive results.  It increased brand awareness, brand favorability, and brand perception.  Lift for brand awareness for leisure travelers was 7%, and for business travelers, 23%.  Lift for message association for leisure travelers was 24%, and business travelers 39%.