United Airlines Gets Creative With Super Bowl Offerings

United Airlines is going beyond a single TV spot for its Super Bowl efforts. 

The airline is releasing not just a national spot, but six different versions of similar creative tied to some of its top markets: Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston and Kansas City. 

Emmy-Award=winning actor Kyle Chandler (who played a high school football coach in “Friday Night Lights”) is featured in all of them. His delivery in the spots aims to be inspirational.  

The main message in the creative from 72andSunny is that fans should express their complete faith in their teams by booking a flight to next year’s Super Bowl even before the season has started. With United, they will have the option to change their trips without extra fees, in case their teams don't make it to the next year's Super Bowl, according to SimpleFlying.com.



“This is about believing -- believing so hard that you book your flight to next year's big game before the season even starts,” Chandler says in the spot.

Since the airline announced the policy change during the pandemic, 3.6 million passengers switched the time of their flight, 1.8 million extended their trips, 1.5 million people chose a different origin or destination, and 300,000 changed from a domestic to an international trip or vice-versa, according to United. 

In total, the policy has saved passengers over $2 billion, according to the airline. But the superimposed copy at the end of the spot is debatable, according to OneMileAtATime.com. The last screen reads: “No fees to change your flight. Ever.”

But the screen includes fine print that states basic economy flights are excluded and the "no fees" scenario only applies to flights within the U.S. and between the U.S. and Mexico or the Caribbean. 

“I can’t help but find the last message of the ad to be borderline deceiving,” writes Ben Schlappig on the travel website. “That’s not really how ‘ever’ works, is it?”

Tweaking the spot so it appeals to fans in markets where the airline has a large presence is clever.

It seems like Detroit should have been one of the chosen cities, given the fact that the Lions made it to the conference championship game. But alas, the airline doesn’t have a large presence at DTW, which is a Delta Airlines hub. 

For the Kansas City-themed spot, Chandler acknowledges the Chiefs are in the Super Bowl. He then mentions what could happen in the 2024 NFL season, according toThe Kansas City Star

“Kansas City, you’re here and whatever happens tonight, remember who you are,” Chandler says in the spot. “So next season when you try to get here again, and they tell you no one’s that lucky, you know this isn’t about luck. It’s about believing in a dynasty. It’s about believing so hard that you book your flight to next year’s big game before the season even starts. Because believing that hard is everything.”

The Cleveland market spot acknowledges the agony of being a Browns fan and aims to give them some hope, according to Cleveland.com. 

“Cleveland, I know you’re watching other people’s teams play today,” he says. “But this season, you got everyone’s attention: the grit, the wins, the defense. Next season, you get the title. Finally.”

While the spots were just released this week, the airlines efforts started a week ago with the creation of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce-themed flight numbers tied to flights to Las Vegas for those attending the game in person. 

“The airline announced six direct flights between Kansas City, Missouri, and Las Vegas for the game — and each one carries a special flight number created in honor of the couple, who kissed on the playing field after Kansas City Chiefs’ AFC Championship win on Sunday,” according toPeople. “Among the new flight numbers listed is UA 1989, which Swifties will immediately recognize as the name of the ‘Karma’ singer’s 2014 and 2023 re-ecorded album.”

UA 2287 is also listed as a nod to Swift’s 2012 hit song”22" and Kelce's “87” jersey number. The third flight number added is UA 1587, which combines the jersey numbers of Kelce and Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes. 

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