United goes with new campaign, post-merger


The Chicago Sun-Times reports the merged United Airlines unveiled its first campaign from the Kaplan Thaler/New York, best known for creating the iconic Aflac duck. The campaign, the first to reflect last fall’s joining of United with Continental Airlines, does away with the elegant, illustration-centric print ads and television commercials that for the past four years were a hallmark of the United advertising via Barrie D’Rozario Murphy Minneapolis.

United’s ads from BDM helped elevate the airline’s image even as the airline was struggling to right itself after a difficult bankruptcy. Barrie D’Rozario Murphy will continue to work on marketing projects for the new United, but it will not be the lead ad agency.

The United advertising just now breaking incorporates imagery associated with previous Continental campaigns, which have been handled for many years by Kaplan Thaler. It is certainly a functional campaign, if not hugely creative.

The first series of print ads breaking later this month focus — with a bit of humor — on specific product benefits of the combined carriers, including an expanded route system, a roomier Economy Plus seating section and the DirecTV available on select Continental planes, said the paper.

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