United Sets Offbeat Intro for Low-Cost Carrier

CHICAGO United Airlines has begun a guerilla marketing campaign in Denver touting a new low-cost carrier named Ted, sources said.

The campaign includes a Web site, signage and mysterious giveaways in and around Denver. United’s lead agency, Fallon in Minneapolis, is involved in the effort and is expected to break a more traditional campaign later this year, according to sources.

A Fallon representative referred calls to the client. Officials from the Elk Grove Village, Ill., airline were not immediately available.

Messages on the Web site, www.meetted.com, include: “Here’s to denim. The original work outfit,” “Here’s to friends who answer the phone at 3 a.m.” and “Here’s to movies with orangutans.” The venue also encourages people to “Take a trip to Vegas with their two best friends.”

Other marketing stunts have included treating customers at random coffee shops to lattes and wishing Ted a happy birthday at sporting events, as well as a man on a Segway sporting a sign that reads, “I’m not Ted.”

United filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year, and has said that the creation of a low-cost carrier—which had the internal name of Starfish—is key to its revitalization plan.