I have worked on a number of airline accounts over the years, United, American, along with Braniff and Southwest. But the first airline I ever worked on was Muse Air.
I remember two things about Muse Air:
1. Muse Air was America’s first non-smoking airline. And they did it before government regulations. Talk about a USP!
2. The tagline we were forced to work with was TERRIBLE. Not just terrible…it was what I call a whistler. (I mean by that, when you see it on TV the only sound that can come from your lips is a whistling sound, hence a “whistler”)
I went to YouTube to see if I could find any of the old spots. And sure enough, I found a giant turd waiting to be played. I couldn’t believe how truly awful it was and still it.The worst part, the tagline. ”Muse Air. You can’t describe it. You gotta fly it.” The “idea”, if there even was one, had to do with consumer’s inability to describe Muse Air. So they’d mumble and stumble on their words for :24 second before blurting out, “you can’t describe it, you gotta fly it.” I didn’t write the tagline, but I had to polish that turd before I quite the unnamed agency to move to Leo Burnett.
I remember telling the CD how I felt about the line and “idea”. He’d written it and loved it. We had great things to talk about…all-leather seating, assigned seatings, low costs, only four seats across, non smoking and low fairs. And this is the best tagline anyone could come up with! There was a reason that for this…the brief. We didn’t have one. We didn’t have plannin back in 1982 either. Creatives during that time would sit around thinking commercials without anything to guide them. I have always said that working without a brief is like shooting a gun into the air and hoping a duck flies through it. Never has this been more evident than with the work we served up on Muse Air.
I would love to work in this piece of business again, with a great planner. But that will never happen. Muse Air went out of business in l985.
RIP Muse Air