Guwahati: Air India may replace its 76-year-old Maharajah with a new mascot as some of the new honchos of the company find the amulet ‘outdated’.
The adorable Maharajah mascot first made its appearance in Air India’s family in 1946 when Bobby Kooka was Air India’s Commercial Director.
Kooka had engaged Umesh Rao, an artist with J.Walter Thompson Ltd in Mumbai to create the Maharajah for Air India.
The Maharajah portrayed a rich Indian monarch, with outsized moustache, the striped turban and his aquiline nose. Despite the regality, the Maharajah symbolized graciousness.
Maharajah is one of the most recognizable mascots around the world. His antics, his expressions, his puns have allowed Air India to promote its services with a unique panache and an unmatched sense of subtle humour.
According to reports, Air India recently roped in British brand and design consultancy firm Futurebrands to rework the Tata Group airline’s branding strategy.
Air India also hired former MakeMyTrip executive Sunil Suresh as its chief marketing officer, and Colin Neubronner, who conceptualised the branding of Singapore Airlines and Jet Airways, to its new brand-building team.
Tata Group now plans to merge Vistara with Air India to create a full-service airline by 2024.