Quick fire: 7 questions for Tyler Brule about that sharp, new Air Canada makeover.

TORONTO — It’s a very Mad Men thing — an agency handling a head to toe rebrand of something as grand and aspirational as an airline. Few firms still do this; but with the new Air Canada refresh unveiled last week, Tyler Brule and the Winkreative team can now boast of handling four so far: Swiss, Porter, and StndAIR, in addition to Air Canada. That’s not even counting the branding efforts in Winkreative’s other airline-related projects: a rebrand for Bombardier, and a brand book for Australia’s Brisbane Airport.

Given that it’s rare to come across projects of this magnitude, we thought Lean Luxe readers would enjoy a closer look at the details. From where we stand, this is every bit as much a branding lift for Air Canada — as it is a lift in soft power for brand Canada itself. (continued below…)

Questions for Tyler:

From start to finish, how long it took to complete:

“All in this was a four and a half month assignment from briefing with the president to fully painted aircraft — three of some three hundred in the Air Canada fleet.”

The brief from Air Canada:

“The brief was to be the sharpest looking of the big North American carriers, to have visual cut on the the world’s tarmacs and runways and to look aspirational and premium. There was also a desire to put some distance between the main brand and the more leisure focused brand ‘Rouge.'”

Three words to describe this new stance:

“Sharp, elegant and recognizable.”

What he loved the most:

“What’s not to love about being asked to rebrand your country’s flag carrier? It’s a proper boy’s dream and all the more exciting when you have a client who has proper ambition to become the number one airline in North America as well as on Trans-Atlantic routes. This gives us as an agency a lot to play with.”

Biggest challenges:

“One element was that the airline was working on other areas (uniforms and service improvements), and we were brought in at a later stage, so we needed to ensure that other components would be able to back into it. The second challenge is the responsibility you feel when the carrier is your airline. The family’s watching!”

Where this ranks with the other big projects they’ve done at Winkreative:

“It ranks up there with creating a national brand for Thailand and launching Swiss.”

Fun bit: Does this improve Canada’s ranking on the soft power list?

“Oh we definitely jump up a few points on the handsome livery index. I think we sit confidently alongside JAL and Lufthansa now.”

Heads up: For more from Tyler on the rebrand, Skift columnist Colin Nagy has a great report about that.

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