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AirTran’s Ad – The New Nostalgia

Have you seen AirTran’s latest ad with Peter Graves? If you’re over 40, you remember the now white-haired grandfatherly figure as Jim Phelps, the smooth leader of American secret agents. Calm in any crisis. Ever in command. Just the Man! Now he’s paired with Matt Ryan, the NFL’s new wonderback of the Atlanta Falcons, telling us about the new wi-fi offered on all AirTran Airways® flights. The New Nostalgia, bringing back icons from the childhood of now 40 somethings is fun. Sure, it happens every decade. As you grow older, ad folk figure out what gives the mature audience giddy feelings, bringing to mind memories of sitting down with your fresh from the oven TV dinner (the new hot thing then), watching your new color console.

I laughed and enjoyed the short but clever ad. Who doesn’t wonder about what happens while you’re sleeping on cross country flights? There’s trust involved in leaving your life in plain view of your row mate. Having made the trip from Cali to DC with a few stops in between over 10 times now in the past 8 months, I’ve sat closer to other passengers than I have to my last dates. Graves was the perfect spokesperson for those of us who are old enough to remember him. But I wonder if my daughter’s generation just sees him as an old guy they picked out of a casting call. My guess is that doesn’t matter, given that we parents are still buying the tickets.

Choosing Matt Ryan was a great touch. He’s new and hot. Still exciting for football fans who had leveled expectations for a transitional Falcons team last year. He brought some excitement to the year when some of our more famous QB’s were hurt or on the retirement seesaw. His generation would be the one updating the FB  status while making their way back to Mom’s house – or home for the weekend during the bye week.

Thanks to Tessa Jackson for sending me the ad, knowing that I would get a big kick out of it. Take a look.

The AirTran Ad

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This entry was posted on 07/28/2009 by in Ad Love.


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