United in Test Flight

Fallon McElligott and Young & Rubicam are in the process of testing campaigns to become the successor to United Airlines’ maligned “Rising” campaign, sources said.
The campaigns’ reception was mixed; none were considered to be home runs, sources said. They were seen as failing to connect with the business travelers United has been courting in its 3-year-old “Rising” campaign, sources said.
The Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based air carrier is now planning to put different pieces of those campaigns together and further test them internationally, sources said.
United last month acknowledged it was scrapping its “Rising” campaign and had enlisted Fallon, its domestic agency, and Y&R, which handles international advertising, to contribute ideas.
One concept from Fallon under consideration uses the idea of people coming together, playing off the word “United,” sources said. Images in the campaign included a white baby crawling across a room to hug a black child and people tearing down the Berlin Wall.
Efforts from Y&R were an extension of international work the agency has done for United, only “more emotional,” sources said. Y&R’s spots featured no tagline, but ended with the United logo, sources said.
Despite reports of an internal debate about which direction to take, it was unlikely that ad duties on United’s account would be changed, sources said. The company, however, is looking to create a unified feel between its domestic and international advertising, sources said.
United and Y&R officials declined comment, while officials from Fallon could not be reached.