Andy Warhol and Salvador Dalí in Classic 1968 Braniff Commercials: ‘When You Got It, Flaunt It!’

One of the scari­est things about air trav­el is the seat­ing assign­ment. You nev­er know who you’ll end up next to. This clas­sic 1968 adver­tis­ing cam­paign from Bran­iff Inter­na­tion­al Air­ways lets you imag­ine what it would be like to find your­self elbow-to-elbow with Andy Warhol and Sal­vador Dalí.

In the com­mer­cial above, Warhol tries to explain the inher­ent beau­ty of Cam­bel­l’s Soup cans to heavy­weight box­er Son­ny Lis­ton. Below, Dalí and major league base­ball pitch­er Whitey Ford com­pare notes on the knuck­le­ball ver­sus the screw­ball. The com­mer­cials were part of Bran­if­f’s ambi­tious “End of the Plain Plane” rebrand­ing cam­paign, which com­plete­ly revamped the com­pa­ny’s stodgy image. Adver­tis­ing exec­u­tive Mary Wells Lawrence hired archi­tect and tex­tile design­er Alexan­der Girard to redesign every­thing from air­plane fuse­lages to ash trays. Ital­ian fash­ion design­er Emilio Puc­ci cre­at­ed flam­boy­ant uni­forms for the stew­ardess­es, or “Bran­iff girls.” And in 1968 Lawrence brought in art direc­tor George Lois to over­see the “When You Got It, Flaunt It!” adver­tis­ing cam­paign for print and tele­vi­sion.

Lois lat­er said he came up with the slo­gan before the celebri­ties were cast. In addi­tion to the Warhol/Liston and Dalí/Ford pair­ings, the cam­paign includ­ed ads with anoth­er odd cou­ple: pulp writer Mick­ey Spillane and poet Mar­i­anne Moore. In an inter­view with the New York Dai­ly News ear­li­er this year, Lois remem­bered that Warhol had trou­ble with his lines. “Andy had to say, ‘When you got it, flaunt it.’ But I end­ed up hav­ing to dub his voice. Lat­er, after I sent him a copy of all the com­mer­cials, he told me that he said the line bet­ter than any­body.” The ads were a prod­uct of Lois’s gut-instinct approach to adver­tis­ing. “Those ads,” he said in anoth­er inter­view, “would have total­ly bombed in ad tests. As things turned out, it tripled their busi­ness.”

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.