Ted is United Airlines

United Airlines is pulling an mLife in Denver with tons of mysterious references in the brandscape to Ted. Ted has bought drinks for everybody at a bar or given out muffins. I hope they don’t make the mistake that AT&T did and annoy the shit out of everyone with their faux-hip cryptic ads.

Since one of my close, close, close friends (wink) is a flight attendant for a Major Airline – the barbs are already flying. Can you imagine how embarrassing it’s going to be to say, ‘I work for Ted’?

Ted is United’s bid to become the next Southwest (codenamed Starfish earlier). Small fleet, cheap fares, discount service. Though the color scheme apes Southwest and ATA as well.

Get it? United. Uni-Ted. Ted.

I think it’s a creative launch but if you want to appeal to the hip young demographic give us three things:

  • Cheap fares
  • Internet booking
  • Cheap fares

Southwest is the AOL of airlines. Watered down, pruned to the hilt, cheap, simple and populist.

Ron and I were also talking about how of all things they should be reviving the Rhaphsody in Blue commercials from the early nineties. Fans of the company are pulling for them and want it to succeed and those Gershwin-laced commercials were had a real flavor of triumphant. Passengers are going to be glad to see United back in action. It’s the same great take that American is doing right now – real people talking about how much they love the company and why it’s the best choice for them.

In other news: Ron got 4 commendations this month. He only flew 6 times. I give him a lot of shit but he must be a bad-ass flight attendant. One of the commendations said: “Best flight attendant I have ever flown with!” And you know that for someone to take the time to think, compose and submit something like that means he did fantastic service. He’s had 12 such letters just this year – some flight attendants fly their whole careers and don’t get that many. What sucks is there’s no performance management in the company so all of these kudos essentially mean nothing to him in terms of salary or rewards.

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