United Airlines has debuted an impressive new ad campaign that stays close to the carrier’s roots.
A commercial entitled “World Orchestra” juxtaposes musical instruments with unlikely geographic locations, stringing together an impressive rendering of Rhapsody in Blue. For example, an Indian man plays his sitar in front of a New England lighthouse and a Hawaiian couple plays ukuleles in Portugal.
You can watch an extended version of the commercial here.
The commercial ends with United’s latest catchphrase, “Connecting people. Uniting the world.” That’s a bit weak after such a strong commercial, but I get the point: United’s international route network continues to expand and the carrier does in fact connect people and unite the world.
Every great United commercial over the years has one thing that binds it: Rhapsody in Blue, by George Gerswhin.
Chicago Business Journal reports that the commercial will air primary in the San Francisco market, but also appear in other United hub cities. There are three versions: a 15-second, 30-second, and 45-second cut.
United also is planning to roll out over the next several weeks a social media campaign tied to the new TV commercial. Four video vignettes will showcase four different cities and four different musicians reimagining “Rhapsody” in a fashion inspired by the particular city where each musical artist is based.
I love this ad so much and think it sends a far more powerful message than an ad focusing on United’s Polaris lounges and business class seating. This reaches more people and reminds us all of just how fortunate we are to live in an era in which we can get almost anywhere in the world on a commercial airline. United has done so well to associate itself with Rhapsody in Blue that I suspect most people will know it is a United commercial long before seeing the logo at the very end.
What do you think of the new United commercial?