United Airlines has launched its first major national ad campaign in nearly a decade with a new catchphrase, “Good Leads The Way.”
United Airlines “Good Leads The Way” Ad Campaign
We’ve seen a lot of good at United Airlines in the last few years, including:
- Elimination of most change fees
- ConnectionSaver technology to hold flights for late-arriving passengers while keeping arrivals on-time
- Industry-leading mobile app
- Expanding worldwide route map
And there is more to look forward to, including:
- 500+ new aircraft plus interior upgrades on existing aircraft
- Faster wi-fi onboard and seatback screens on every narrowbody plane
- Upgraded airport terminals and club lounges
- Supersonic travel by the end of the decade
Frequent flyers of United have also seen better service of late, something I’ve noticed and appreciated (it has been quite some time since I’ve run into a hostile FA). Employees who are empowered to provide great service to passengers are much more likely to take pride in their jobs and offer the sort of service that wins loyalty. I just experienced an absolutely wonderful flight from Honolulu to Chicago with superb service onboard.
Beyond that, United Airlines has invested in its employees and communities, culminating in a new era of good feelings for United and a new campaign with the slogan, “Good Leads The Way.”
United CEO Scott Kirby provides context for the new ad:
“In the past few years, United has emerged as a force for good and an industry leader. We’re taking actions that inspire pride among our employees and customers – everything from historic investments to fight climate change and training more women and people of color to become pilots to getting rid of change fees and upgrading our fleet with 500 new planes. This campaign serves not only as an exclamation point on our recent actions, but also as a commitment to how United Airlines intends to show up in the future.”
New United Airlines Ads
Here is the main new ad, a 60-second spot that will air onboard, in airports, and in some media markets:
United has also created many 15-second videos highlighting different aspects of its service:
There are also print ads:
The ad campaign certainly has a progressive flair, brandishing United’s “woke” credentials, but also highlights the sort of service, reliability, and route network that will appeal to every passenger.
My Thoughts On The New Ad Campaign
I like the ad campaign and think it nicely captures the new spirit at United. Pointing out the great strides United has made on the customer-service side over the last few years and will continue to make in the years ahead are helpful, particularly for those passengers who may have walked away form the Smisek or Tilton-era United. United is a very different airline than it was just a few years ago.
That said, I believe nothing can top the “It’s Time To Fly” campaign and think United could have re-used ads likes these, which would appeal to a whole new generation:
United Airlines has debuted a new ad campaign with the slogan, “Good Leads The Way.” The new ad campaign strategically showcases the progress United has made and is continuing to make while arguing United is great for customers, employees, and the communities it serves.
What are your thoughts on United’s latest ad campaign?
The new ads aren’t bad, but I still have a hard time believing they picked that slogan.
I don’t mean to be negative, but, I just find it hard to believe that UAL goes with a new marketing slogan (“wokeness” noted) without even fully restoring what is simply a subpar poor quality Polaris international food service (among other pandemic cutbacks which have NOTHING to do with safety).
Matt, again, it seems it is all about being “woke” at United INSTEAD of putting an effort forward that benefits the people that are paying more and more $$ to fly United as paying passengers.
I always find it curious how folks on the right (usually white males) use “woke” and “wokeness” as if they were derogatory words. They’re not. They mean “in touch with reality” — the reality that America and the world are made up of people of all sorts, that there’s more than one perspective and histoical narrative and each are equally valid to the white/right perspective, and that all people deserve courtesy and respect, not just the historically privileged. I’m also a white male but I’m proud to be “woke” to reality. The alternative is to live blindered, unawakened to the faces, and unhappy, furiously denying the legitimacy of the reality around you. I’m also proud to be an employee of United Airlines, and I applaud this new ad campaign.
A pilot… thanks for your reply to my post. I completely understand and acknowledge your thoughts. I am a UAL stockholder and a 1K Plat and I’ve always thought that UALs MAIN thing is its people and the good job done by the majority of those people on a day in day out basis. All I’m saying is let’s set some priorities and get our onboard soft products/food and beverage, for our paying customers, back to pre pandemic levels. We can get to press releases touting our moves in other non-money making areas but we must set CUSTOMER service priorities first if we truly want to be number one. In closing, thanks, A pilot, for what you do for us everyday.
Does 1K Plat get you Star Alliance Platinum status as well? Asking for a friend.
I find it laughable how you have to introduce a racial element in a rather obviously transparent attempt to justify your own bigotry.
Perhaps you could avoid letting your own bias impact your incoherence next time.
On topic, United’s going to have to do more than yet another empty promise, patronizing language aside. The product has been miserable for years. Correcting that will take real work, not hollow words. I hope this time they’ve learned that lesson.
I want to thank you for that definition of “woke.” I’m sure that was very impressive in the dorms.
Society rejects wokeness it’s harmful and forced. And people who cry about white men usually stuffer from white envy. Woke is an insult and nothing to be proud of.
Actions lead the way, not ads. Stop wasting money on stupid ad campaigns and 10 minute safety videos and put the money into better service.
The best historic United advert is the animated one where the man brings the rose to his mother. As for this new campaign, notice how they don’t feature the dilapidated C/D terminal at IAD. Talk about rundown!
Because IAD is their only dilapidated hub. Their other hubs are not dilapidated.
GUM has entered the chat.
UA is in a unique position to be the dominant airline in the post pandemic age, a lot of it due to the mistakes their competitors made such as retiring aircraft and thinking business travel would never come back, but if UA truly wants to be the best they need to do all the small things to bring their soft product back up to par.
UA has the best network, has a great path for growth with tons of new planes on the way, and more gates coming at the busiest airports, but they can’t let these things let them forget about doing the small things.
Seems to me that the advantage was taking on huge debt unlike their closest rival, and then showing debt doesn’t matter because the US government bailed them out (subsidizing, isn’t that the term united beats the drum about the gulf carriers)
As an employee, it’s a bit sad not to hear Rhapsody in Blue as the theme song… this has been used for decades in ad campaigns. Out with the old… in with the new.
Since switching this year I am fine with United. The crews tend to be much better than AA and the operations a bit more polished. Also the technology, app, website etc is leaps and bounds better. My only gripe is not exclusive to United, but the food is completely abysmal in F and Polaris (same with AA for that matter). They really need to reinvest and completely tear down the entire process and offerings. If they will ever be considered world class this will be essential. Otherwise they are just a bit better than AA but not by much – and an embarrassment when compared to International carriers.
This branding exercise is ludicrous when the core product is as mediocre as it is right now.
I’m a 1K MM and about to restart my international travel to Europe and Australia (which is always in biz class). I will *not* fly UA in the service profile that it has now. I see pictures of the Polaris food service which would put a college dining hall to shame. I’ll choose LH or NZ instead, even if I have to connect. The only reason to fly UA is to get me closer to 2 MM, but the difference between lifetime gold and lifetime platinum isn’t worth having to eat that slop.
Sure, the food is just slop, but “Kinda Adequate Leads the Way”. (TM)
Time will tell, I guess.
I have given up on United. The in flight experience has been fine for me. It’s the rest of it that has caused me to give up.
Phone support for problems with international travel, even in business class is just terrible. I cancelled a reward flight recently but the miles were not refunded, and getting this sorted out was a 3 week project.
Some of the united club locations are so bad, I just wait out in the terminal instead.
Hundreds of thousands of miles accumulated over time, and apparently these are great for getting a one way business class seat from Newark to Budapest on the second Tuesday in January, but good luck getting decent value out of them for anything that involves a family.
I’ll still fly united when it’s the best deal, but I have given up on caring about the loyalty program, and my expectation is that if anything goes wrong, that I can’t count on any help from them.
I agree with you on many levels. But the question remains, who else then? It’s not like we have much else to choose from on the domestic front. Right now, for me, I switched to United this years after years of AA, not because they were leaps and bounds better, but it seemed to be the lesser of two evils. And a bit of a fairytale fantasy I guess that given the improvements they have made that they MIGHT be headed upwards with an even better product eventually. Delta might be the best of the three on the service level but with a program that just really leaves you scratching your head. And an alliance that is the weakest for me. Perhaps at some point one of the three will see how Aeroplan is killing it on the program front and begin a process to mirror more of their innovations. I would imagine mass defections to whichever airline would do that and a return to true loyalty again.
It’s a good point. I’m not saying I won’t fly united anymore– I have a flight coming up in a few weeks. Just saying I have given up having a preference among UA, AA, and DL. Also given up on trying to really optimize my participation in mileage plus.
“Leading the Way………………..TWA”
I agree United has improved markedly over the past decade. I’ve had some great flights in Polaris this year with terrific crews, and when you get a good Polaris seat it is an incredibly comfortable flight. Their app is much better than any other airline in the US or abroad, and their customer service by chat (while not perfect) is on the up and up.
But as others have noted, the food really went downhill during Covid (from a low starting point). They need to get that sorted asap. Surely their people must scan the message boards here and on other forums and see that their terrible food offering is really a major source of complaint from premium customers.