United Airlines will debut the
latest television spot in its well-received global brand campaign during
NBC’s final “Friends” telecast in Chicago and Washington D.C., on May 6,
just in time for the Mother’s Day weekend. Titled “Rose,” the new ad
employs the elegant visual style the campaign has become known for and
incorporates the tagline, “It’s time to fly.” The voiceover tagline is
read by Robert Redford. The new ad is designed to help the airline forge an emotional connection
with its most valued customers—frequent business travelers.
“Rose” was created by the Minneapolis office of Fallon Worldwide, and
brings United’s unique understanding of the frequent business traveler to
life in a particularly poignant way. Animated by Academy Award(R)-winning
artist Aleksandr Petrov, the new spot tells the heart-warming story of a
businessman traveling to various meetings carrying a rose from his garden,
which he delivers to his mother at the end of his travels. The story is
set to a specially created version of United’s signature music, “Rhapsody
in Blue” by George Gershwin.
“We know that this new ad will resonate with frequent business travelers,
just as the first two spots in the campaign have,” said Martin White,
senior vice president of marketing for United. “It speaks to a very
positive aspect of travel that our core customers can relate to—
combining a personal journey with a productive business trip.”
Petrov employs a unique creative process, one of only a few in the world,
in which he initiates the animation process by painting a scene on glass,
using his bare hands and brushes. After finishing a scene, he takes
multiple photographs of the image using a camera mounted over his
workspace. He then moves on to the next scene by painting directly over
the existing scene, before the paint dries.
“When we set out to create the campaign, we wanted each film to have a
unique style,” said Stuart D’Rozario, group creative director and
copywriter at Fallon. “Petrov is one of the only people in the world who
can combine a beautiful impressionistic look with precise and emotional
Four televisions spots in United’s brand campaign will air this year. The
latest commercial joins “Interview,” illustrated by Academy
Award(R)-nominated animators Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, and
“Lightbulb,” animated by two-time Academy Award(R) nominee Joanna Quinn.
Both are currently airing. One additional spot will break later this year:
“A Life,” by Michael Dudok De Wit, who won the Oscar(R) for Best Animated
Short Film in 2000 for “Father and Daughter.”
“Rose” will make its debut in Chicago and Washington, D.C., during the
final “Friends” telecast. It will also appear during ABC’s broadcast
premier of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” on Mother’s Day, May 9,
in Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco. This supports United’s business
strategy of focusing its marketing efforts on the airline’s key hub
cities. Nationally, the commercials are airing on cable programs that
appeal to business travelers, including CNN Headline News, “Squawk Box” on
CNBC, and “Biography” on A&E.
Ten print advertisements, some of which feature work originally created
for the New Yorker by such noted illustrators as Carter Goodrich, Rea
Irvin and Charles Martin, have also debuted this year. The first ad in the
campaign was illustrated by Carter Goodrich and first appeared in the Wall
Street Journal on February 18. Ads are also appearing throughout the year
in publications including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times
Magazine, Time, Newsweek, Business Week, Fortune and Fast Company.
Billboards that feature the same distinctive illustrative style as the
rest of the campaign are currently running in Chicago and Los Angeles.
The campaign’s creative team includes: David Lubars, executive creative
director; Bruce Bildsten, creative director; Stuart D’Rozario, group
creative director/writer; Bob Barrie, art director; Alex Leikikh, group
account director; and Kate Talbott, senior producer. Media planning
responsibilities are handled by Fallon Worldwide.