Details are emerging about the future ad campaign of the new United/Continental. Just as we said goodbye to the tulip earlier today, we can also say goodbye to United’s iconic abstract advertising campaign:
Chicago-based United’s new 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 created by the Minneapolis boutique shop Barrie, D’Rozario Murphy…
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 dominant graphic in the print ads and billboards is the stylized globe seen in countless Continental ads and on the tail of the carrier’s aircraft. TV ads are still in development.
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 aircraft. The new prints ads carry no tagline, and it is unclear when one will be added. Continental’s advertising tagline was “Work Hard. Fly Right,” while United used “It’s Time To Fly.”
Sounds a bit dull, but I’ll hold judgment until I see the ads. In discussing this topic before, I know many readers prefer pictorials to the cartoonish, abstract former UA ad campaign, but I’ve always loved the imagination and creativity embedded in UA’s commercials the last four years. Although it was not always clear that it was an airline being advertised, it was always clear to me that these commercials were well-thought out and always worth watching. And people took note of the prominent United logo that appeared at the end of the ad.
As I speculated with the tulip, give it a few years and let’s see if the old ad campaign comes back…
One more bit of news: Continental has scrapped its in-flight magazine and now carries Hemispheres, which has also lost its artsy cover in favor of a photograph.