Thursday, August 10, 2023

Air India's iconic Maharaja to remain, but with a new role in airline's rebranding

Air India's iconic mascot, the Maharaja, will not be retiring despite a shift in its role. Instead of serving as a mascot, the Maharaja's presence will be reduced to the airline's premium classes and airport lounges. This move is part of Air India's rebranding efforts, set to be revealed in New Delhi, with a new logo featuring a three-color combination - red, white, and purple. This shift in branding reflects the upcoming absorption of Vistara into Air India, incorporating purple from Vistara's identity according to Financial Times.
The decision to retain the Maharaja is driven by its nostalgic appeal to a significant portion of the airline's older flyers. It aligns with Air India's aspiration to be a "global brand with an Indian heart." Similar to Singapore Airlines' 'Singapore Girl,' the Maharaja aims to establish a lasting connection with passengers.

The Maharaja has been an integral part of Air India's identity since its inception in 1946. Over time, it evolved to remain relevant and counter accusations of promoting an outdated image of India. The character even engaged in real-world interactions, endearing him to the public.

Experts suggest that preserving the Maharaja in the rebranding is a wise move, offering a blend of tradition and modernity. The Tatas, who oversee Air India, engaged branding and design consultancy firm Futurebrands for the rebranding process, with McCann Worlgroup India handling promotional initiatives.

10/08/2023 Moneycontrol

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