Airlander is a visionary new mode of transport – an innovative solution to the polluting impact of freight transportation and the spiralling costs of logistics. Part airship, part plane, part hovercraft it offers new ways to deliver goods and carry people. But beyond that, its ability to land almost anywhere with no infrastructure means Airlander can reach previously inaccessible places, making it perfect for everything from exploration to search and rescue.

Airlander's legacy will be a new and routine means of transport that minimises disruption to the planet, while maximising the opportunity for the human race. We worked with Hybrid Air Vehicles to create the context for the launch of this impressive, futuristic vehicle

One of the biggest challenges facing Hybrid Air Vehicles was the idea that airships are a throwback to the past. With disasters like the R101 and Hindenberg still front of mind nearly 100 years after the events, it was important to overcome these perceptions by reframing the safety and capabilities of airships.

Airlander is an extremely safe and stable vehicle. Calling developed the brand promise: ‘Built to Endure’. This underlines the vehicle’s robust design and construction and highlights its ability to fly safely in difficult conditions with heavy payloads for longer than traditional aircraft. It also celebrates Airlander as a sustainable alternative to current modes of highly-polluting transportation.

Calling set out to develop a name that expressed the idea of a practical, utility vehicle that can fly anywhere and land on any terrain, including sand, snow and water. Our ambition was to own the category, creating a name that works as a descriptor for this new category of hybrid aircraft. The name Airlander does all these things – reflecting the functional, everyday benefits of the aircraft in a distinctive and memorable label.

We created a visual identity that reflects the technology in Airlander; it is built on lighter-than-air technology, fibre optics and advanced aerodynamics. Our creative developed a fine balance between a light, open molecular structure as a backdrop for robust typography. To underscore its utility credentials, we used a yellow and black colour scheme, reminiscent of other utility brands like JCB and Caterpillar.

The result was a light yet robust identity that brings to life all the company’s communications. These are geared to selling Airlander as a utility vehicle to potential customers including oil rig owners, geo-scanning firms, governments and logistics companies, as well as disaster response organisations. The first flight took place in August 2012 in the US and the UK flight test programme will be carried out in 2014 and 2015.

“Calling’s strong strategic thinking and confident creative has given us a powerful launch platform. They helped take our vision and made it real with Airlander – a category-defining brand that’s capturing people’s imaginations around the world.”


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Marketing and PR company based in London