Private jet branding: The ultimate moving poster site

Branding the outside of an aircraft has become more and more popular in recent years. Whether it’s a for a band tour, film launch or other promotional event – an aircraft’s body gives a large surface area to take advantage of. And with such a large, flying poster site, you can take your message anywhere in the world.

Some airlines sell advertising space on their aircraft as a new revenue stream – offering a choice of fixed positions on the aircraft, where third party adverts can be placed.

Air New Zealand displayed the world’s largest plane decal in 2012, which took over 400 hours to apply to a Boeing 777. The campaign featured characters from the movie The Hobbit, with the theme continued inside the aircraft, with the aircraft crew wearing pointy ears for the first flight.

Air New Zealand_The Hobbit Branding

Image: Air New Zealand

Taiwanese Airline Eva Air launched a “Hello Kitty” branded aircraft, flying between Taipei and Los Angeles, adding to ther Hello Kitty aircraft already flying between airports across Asia. The Hello Kitty theme also extends inside of the aircraft, passengers receive Hello Kitty boarding passes and are served Hello Kitty meals.

Eva Air_Hello Kitty

Image: Eva Air

Private jets offer a bespoke approach to aviation, and so it follows when it comes to the branding opportunities.

An aircraft’s owner can choose to paint their aircraft in their own permanent livery of course. But it’s becoming increasingly popular for clients to request a temporary, customised exterior when chartering an aircraft for a special event or tour – as such a tiny minority of private jet users choose to own an aircraft these days. See more: The pros and cons of owning a private jet versus charter.

The effect of private jet branding can be subtle, such as a small logo. Or for a bigger impact, the aircraft can be covered in a bespoke design or colour. The sky is literally the limit when it comes to private jet branding.

Pop stars, luxury brands & charities

The approach is popular with pop stars, and certainly helps to add wow factor to their tour – securing extra column inches.

Pop star Robbie Williams chose a relatively subtle ‘RW’ initial design on the tail of his tour jet.

But others take a bolder approach, such as rock band The Killers, who had their name emblazoned all along the side of their chartered Embraer EMB-145, for their 2013 European summer tour.

And while the technology for applying temporary branding might be new, pop music and aviation has been a popular combination for many years. Back in the 1960’s and 70’s, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were among a handful of big names who enjoyed flying around in their own branded aircraft.

Iron Maiden’s aircraft even comes with an Iron Maiden branded pilot, lead singer Bruce Dickinson – who remains a private jet pilot and aviation entrepreneur today (read more in Top 10 Celebrity Pilots).

Iron Maiden_aeroprints

Image: aeroprints.com

These days of course, its not just pop stars that are attracted to this most luxury of advertising mediums. Jewellery designer Fabergé has worked with a private jet operator, to produce a bespoke tail design for a Bombardier Global 6000.

The design was produced by Turner Prize nominated artist Ian Davenport and featured one of the master jeweller’s iconic eggs. The campaign included giving passengers the option to buy limited edition jewellery in the cabin.

Other brands take a bolder approach and wrap the entire aircraft in a new design.

Aircraft operator Hangar8 used one of their aircraft to say Happy 1st Birthday to Prince George. They used a Bombardier Challenger 601 and tasked design studio Andrew Winch with the redecoration.

The aircraft’s bespoke design includes the Union Jack and the message ‘Happy Birthday Prince George’ along the side. There is even a special occasion tail number G-EORGE (just for the photo opp of course, this format cannot be used when the aircraft is airborne). More about private jet tail numbers.

Hangar8_princegeorge3

Image: Hangar8/Chris Ison/PA Wire

They have also previously covered a jet in eye-catching Zebra stripes, to promote business growth in Africa.

It can also be an attention-grabbing way to promote a worthy cause, with UK charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer turning an aircraft’s nose pink, their signature campaign colour.

How does aircraft branding work?

Obviously owners of aircraft can choose to have a full respray. But for charter, the most popular method is to use removable vinyl decals.

These are essentially giant stickers, produced according to a required design and then expertly applied to the aircraft. They can be removed again after the campaign has finished. This is the same method used for temporary branding of cars, but of course, there are extra challenges and complications when dealing with a very expensive, airborne vehicle. It’s a specialist art.

We have worked with vehicle branding specialists Raccoon on a number of projects. Raccoon design and produce temporary wraps for vehicles of all types, from cars and buses, to aircraft – they have wrapped two capsules of The London Eye and the side of large buildings.

PrivateFly branded jet
Director Gary Parker commented: “You can produce a wide variety of effects for aircraft. Finishes range from gloss or metallic, to full colour wraps. The key consideration is durability as the material needs to withstand extreme cold and altitude when the aircraft is in flight – but also come off again cleanly when the campaign is over! It also needs to be ultra conformable so that it sticks over the curves.

“Once the design has been agreed and produced, our applications team will spend a great deal of time positioning it with magnets, to make sure it is in exactly the right place. Then they use special heat guns to bond the material to the aircraft’s exterior. It can be quite a complex and precise job, especially when large areas of the fuselage are being covered, so requires a lot of training.

“When you are working with such an expensive vehicle, it’s obviously essential to make sure everything is absolutely right”.

If you would like to discuss branding options for a private jet, contact us or speak to our 24-hour Flight Team on +44 1747 642 777.