The Marketing & Branding of an Airline

View the entire Marketing collection by clicking here.

Or, scroll down this page to see examples of Muse Air and TranStar marketing. 

Click on any image to view a larger version.

One of Muse Air's first ad posters (click on the photo to enlarge). Not only does the poster flaunt the return of Lamar Muse, playing off his departure from Southwest Airlines, but it provides reasons why customers should fly Muse Air over the competition, the same Southwest Airlines Lamar formerly ran. (Photo courtesy of Barry Crawford)



1983 ad promoting service between various Texas cities and LAX

Ad promoting DAL-LBB 5 for 7 tickets deal in the Fall of 1983

Print ad touting Muse Air's low fares and beautiful service, including the valid claim of being "America's only non-smoking airline," dated October, 1984.

Codeshare agreement between AirCal, a California based carrier, and Muse Air, circa 1984

Muse Air's ad agency, The Richards Group, addressed a farewell letter to the Muse Air leadership team after Southwest Airlines purchased Muse Air. This ad agency was responsible for the highly effective but final Muse Air Television ads. (Letter courtesy of Scott Crockett, The Richards Group)

Soon after Southwest Airlines' purchase of the airline, Muse Air changed it's no-smoking policy to allow for designated smoking areas on board their flights. Muse Air predicted that up to 35% of their potential passengers were being lost because of the no-smoking policy. Yet less than a decade later, Delta Air Lines surveyed their passengers and found they would only lose up to 7% of their passengers. Clearly the country's attitudes towards smoking were quickly changing, but not fast enough for Muse Air. On the flyer shown above, the signature of Muse Air's new President, William Franklin, completes the explanation for this policy change. The flyer was placed inside aircraft seat backs.

Print ads, posters and post cards promoted Muse Air's name change to TranStar in the Spring of 1986. Because of the colorful history that Muse Air's founder, Lamar Muse, had with Southwest Airlines, and fundamental identity changes made to the Muse Air brand, some felt it was time for a change. The shade of dark blue that made up most of the new TranStar aircraft livery was labeled Empyrean Blue.

This Celebration of Style brochure (a pdf file) has some amazing photos contained within, including pictures of actual employees, The Empyrean Club, food served on-board, and the Houston Headquarters building.  Download it here.

Playing off the popularity of the Miami Vice television series, TranStar promotes their new service and fares to Miami, Florida.

An ad inside the December, 1986 Timetable promotes the TranStar Empyrean Club, a members-only airport club.

TranStar "Crazy" Ad - Front Cover

TranStar "Crazy" Ad Brochure - Inside

This 1986 "Crazy" ad was in response to fiercly competitive fares offered out of Houston Hobby airport by Continental Airlines in markets served by TranStar. Because TranStar didn't possess the same level of financial resources that Continental had, TranStar lost this fare war, reporting heavy financial losses during this period. The CEO of Souwthwest Airlines at the time, Herb Kelleher, would characterize this fight as "probably the most severe fare battle in the history of the airline industry."

Under Southwest Airlines' ownership, not only was Muse Air's smoking policy, name and livery changed, but the cabin was divided into two classes, First and Coach. This ad promotes the value of First Class fares effective April 24, 1987.

A newspaper ad promoting new TPA-SFO service effective June 15, 1987. SFO would be the last new market TranStar would service. 

Note: Special thanks to Russell Goutierez, former MC TPA employee, for providing many of the images on this page.