American Airlines 9/11-Themed Ad

Here we go again. Yet another ad circulating around that features a plane flying towards two tower-like structures. Wilson Bryan Key would probably claim that it's done deliberately as a form of subliminal seduction, like the skulls hidden inside ice cubes in alcohol ads. I, on the other hand, am willing to give the advertisers the benefit of the doubt. Although I'm not sure exactly what those tower-like structures are. Stereo speakers, I'm guessing. (Submitted anonymously)


Update: Looks like American Airlines pulled the ad and replaced it with this version (that omits the speakers).

Advertising Hate Crimes/Terror

Posted on Mon Sep 25, 2006


They're tower speakers for the surround sound system. I think they're reaching just a bit to claim this evokes 9/11, but some people enjoy wallowing in tragedy.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Mon Sep 25, 2006  at  03:25 PM
Surely, someone is not suggesting that a projected image can come out of plasma screen and knock speakers over? Plasma HD images are lifelike but still 2D.
Posted by Floormaster Squeeze  on  Mon Sep 25, 2006  at  03:51 PM
If it were a print ad, I would agree that people are just seeing issues where none exist. But the add has the plane actually "flying" ( moving ) towards the "towers". Still could be a mistake, but, in this case, it's easy to see where people could have issues. It's almost blatant enough were I would agree that it could have been done on purpose.
Posted by Speebob  on  Mon Sep 25, 2006  at  05:07 PM
All I can say is that I now have an urge to kill some capitalist pigs.

It must be true
Posted by Peter  on  Mon Sep 25, 2006  at  05:08 PM
It may just be because I'm not an American, but when this was sent to us with (if I recall correctly) a sentence along the lines of "What's wrong with this picture?", I opened up the link and I honestly had no clue.

I was looking at it, asking myself "Is there the wrong markings on the plane or something? The perspective on the nearest wing looks a little odd..."

It was only when Alex posted it that I realised what the contributor was talking about.
Posted by Boo  on  Mon Sep 25, 2006  at  05:22 PM
Site seems to be down now.

Note to advertisers -

NO tall objects allowed

NO airplanes allowed

Someone might be traumatized by your insensitivity.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Mon Sep 25, 2006  at  06:18 PM
Well they've taken the speakers out of the ad now.
Posted by Bryan Bierman  on  Mon Sep 25, 2006  at  10:11 PM
Boy, some people just like to see things that aren't there. I mean I don't see the Twin Towers anywhere in that ad. Where are they supposed to be, near the two phalluses on the left side of the photo?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Tue Sep 26, 2006  at  01:50 AM
Posted by outeast  on  Tue Sep 26, 2006  at  02:32 AM
Cranky, it's not the size of your speakers that matters - it's how much volume they put out, damnit. 😉
Posted by Charybdis  on  Tue Sep 26, 2006  at  07:57 AM
Well, as someone who lived in NYC on 9/11, and actually witnessed the events that transpired, I can say it immediately jumped at me. I saw the picture before I read anything, and I never got to see the animation of the plane flying, etc; as it was already taken down.

That said, I wasn't offended by it, just rather incredulous. I mean, of all the airlines...

Talk about an "oops!" LOL!
Posted by MadCarlotta  on  Tue Sep 26, 2006  at  09:53 AM
They could have moved one speaker to the other side of the TV. You know, the way people might actually arrange them?
Posted by Dan  on  Tue Sep 26, 2006  at  11:04 AM
Okay, well being Sony, the ads were probably made in Japan. But I cannot imagine the oversight of the American ad agency's people not originally making the connection before it was released. Dumb stuff, folks. Yes, when the ad first loaded, the AA jet appeared to be flying directly at these two tall speakers, icons, towers, whatever, and in motion. How could these people be so stupid? None of us who saw what happened on 9/11, or the news coverage right after, will ever forget that horror.
Posted by stork  on  Tue Sep 26, 2006  at  09:45 PM
No, I doubt it was done in Japan. The client is American Airlines, the prize just happens to be a Sony product. A company as big as American Airlines probably uses many different agencies for various departments. I can think of four offhand in NYC alone(even though AA is based in Dallas)that do work for AA,one of them being McAnn Erickson.

I'm "in the biz" so to speak, and having done many many contest promotions for clients both big and small that offered Sony products as prizes, I can tell you that it wouldn't have had to go through Sony at all to get approved.
Posted by MadCarlotta  on  Wed Sep 27, 2006  at  08:22 AM
Thanks for clarifying that. So, this was likely created by an American, and approved by an exec of American Airlines? Oh, I forgot, they're all under 5 years old. Idiots.
Posted by stork  on  Wed Sep 27, 2006  at  10:50 AM
People are becomming too sensitive. Probably most people complaining about stuff like this don't even have to do with the WTC attacks, they just like making noise.
Posted by FireFly  on  Wed Sep 27, 2006  at  03:17 PM
In the 'submit the word you see below' anti-spam check text box, the displayed word was 'wrong'. It describes very well what I have in mind regarding the attitude towards that commercial. It's just wrong to be so overly sensitive. Then again, I notice many in the US get a knack out of using 9/11 as a reason for various actions - like showing exaggerated hypocrite sensitivity, or invading a country. Or more.

MadCarlotta, if you're '"in the biz" so to speak', then perhaps you should note that the agency you're reffering to is McCann... but I'm sure it was just a typo.

Posted by DukeLeto  on  Thu Sep 28, 2006  at  05:53 PM
Starbuck's coffee a few years ago had a similar ad, -featuring two large chilly-looking frosty coffee-beverages standing next to each other, surrounded by short grass and flowers, with two large dragonflies swooping towards the towering drinks and the ad proudly proclaimed:

"Collapse into something refreshing!"

The poster ads were quickly pulled from view and the novelty coffee quickly claimed that it was un-intentional and coincidental-only... yeah, right. :-\

Posted by Joel A. Burdick  on  Sat Sep 30, 2006  at  03:46 PM
To DukeLeto in Romania; Sir, I respect your right to your opinion, and at least you now have a right to a personal opinion and expression of it in your country. But I respectfully beg to differ. For example - If you had survived the last tsunami in southern Asia, and seen your entire village destroyed, lost family and friends to crushing or drowning, and were surrounded by devastation for several days before your evacuation, would it be overly-sensitive of you to fear jumping into the surf sometime in the next several years? It seems to me that perhaps a little compassion is due in this thread. Did any of you see Hulitoons' posting of ? If the foregoing doesn't link in your system, just type the addy into your browser. Wanna learn something today?
Posted by stork  on  Sat Sep 30, 2006  at  05:41 PM
Stork, "at least now we have a right to personal opinion and expression"? When's the last time you've been around, to know so well?

I would not find it offensive. If it was something that happened and there was/is/will be nothing for me to do about it to either prevent its happening or fix its consequences, why would I? I would probably be sensitive about it, and not watch it. But how does my going through a bad event/occurance give me the right to shun others that want to speak about or mention it?
If I went through a tsunami, like you said, would that give me the right to be offended by, for example, you spilling a glass of water over a plate, washing away everything in it? It's about the same with a plane on TV and two speakers near the TV. Let's not become overly hypocrite and leftist(if you're gonna ask what leftism has to do with anything, it's the strong attitudes on various topics without reasoning to support them).

What does the movie have to do with anything? I have heard of it, and I was familliar with the contents though the numbers seem a bit changed for this movie, from what I remember about them. Still, what does it have to do with anything?
Posted by DukeLeto  on  Mon Oct 02, 2006  at  03:11 AM
I think that pulling the Starbucks ad was silly and definately being oversensitive.

However, I don't think that American Airlines are over-reacting by pulling the above ad. For them to have an ad with an animated plane on a tv flying towards two tower like structures is just crazy. After all - they were one of the two airlines whose planes were actually used in the attacks.

Removing the speakers was overkill. It wasn't the speakers, it was THE PLANE MOVING TOWARDS THEM, lol. They could have just split up the speakers, but the best solution would have been to just remove the plane on the tv screen. Paste in their logo instead or just leave it blank. We're on, we get that you have planes, sheesh.

It's not so much the imagery itself that has me slackjawed, it's WHO was running the images in the first place.

Leto- thank you very much for pointing out my grave mispelling of a company name. Hitherto, I will be sure to cross reference the spellings of all advertising agencies I refer to online against my 1992 Gold Book that for some reason I still have floating around.
Posted by MadCarlotta  on  Mon Oct 02, 2006  at  02:57 PM
It's only natural(Again the submit the word you see below word - I think I'll try and start every topic from now on with the word in the checkbox), that after pointing out that you misspelled the name of the company, I point out that you also misspelled the name of a fictional planet. It's Giedi Prime, not Geidi 😊

Anyway, Carlotta, I'm just kidding. Typos happen, and it's not a big deal. I'm sorry if my first comment about typos was too harsh and it offended you. Peace, `aight?

Posted by DukeLeto  on  Tue Oct 03, 2006  at  04:40 PM
However, I don't think that American Airlines are over-reacting by pulling the above ad. For them to have an ad with an animated plane on a tv flying towards two tower like structures is just crazy. After all - they were one of the two airlines whose planes were actually used in the attacks.
Posted by mike18  on  Wed Oct 03, 2007  at  02:37 AM
I believe AA would do anything for money. I was at a gate in Dallas not too long ago and the pilots just gathered around and oogled women. It was disgusting. Instead of carrying out their job professionally, they galked and stared--it was repulsive. I think AA is the biggest whore house in Texas when it comes to profit. I think when the real truth comes out about 9/11 we will be hearing it straight from AA. Didn't they receive a lot of money after 9/11? I read that several families of the people who were killed on 9/11 had a hard time collecting their money from AA. I would think that after that big mistake, AA would step up to the plate and pay. This airline disgusts me.
Posted by GMR  on  Mon Dec 03, 2007  at  12:25 PM
All I can say is that I now have an urge to kill some capitalist pigs.
Posted by animals  on  Fri Jan 25, 2013  at  07:35 AM
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