Ad of the Day: United Turns Airport Security Into an Olympic-Level Obstacle Course

Spot from mcgarrybowen stars real-life athletes

Do you ever feel like an Olympic track star while trying to navigate the maze that is the airport check-in experience? United Airlines feels your pain.

The 2016 Summer Olympics begin next month in Rio de Janeiro, and this week United debuted its first related ad as the official airline of Team USA.

The 60-second spot "One Journey. Two Teams." will first air during the opening ceremony next Friday. It resembles past efforts from the brand in that it stars both United employees and American Olympians doing their best to get to the gate on time.

The athletes featured include volleyball star Kerri Walsh Jennings, two-time gold medal soccer player Carli Anne Lloyd and four-time gold medal swimmer Missy Franklin, among others.

The ad, created by United agency of record mcgarrybowen, also features a Rio-style remix of the client's theme song "Rhapsody in Blue" courtesy of audio production company Yessian Music, which recruited authentic Brazilian street musicians to help create the very active re-imagining of Gershwin's classic. The voiceover for this spot comes from Mr. Bourne himself, Matt Damon.

"Our 2016 Olympics advertising was a great way to engage and showcase our employees and our partnership with Team USA," says United managing director of marketing and product development Mark Krolick. "The United team works incredibly hard year round to transport U.S. Olympians and Olympic hopefuls to training, competitions and the Olympics and this campaign demonstrates that in an upbeat, fun and optimistic way."

The ad was filmed on a real 787 Dreamliner in Los Angeles, and the athletes performed all their own stunts.

Mcgarrybowen executive creative director and managing director Haydn Morris tells Adweek, "It's an honour to have a client with such an intimate and longtime relationship with Team USA; they do the hard work of flying those guys wherever they need to go, year in, year out. Mcgarrybowen does the easy bit of bringing that story to life."


Agency: mcgarrybowen

Client: United Airlines

Title: "One Journey, Two Teams"

Managing Director, Executive Creative Director: Haydn Morris

Group Creative Director: David DiRienz

Group Creative Director: Erik Izo

Managing Director, Content Production: Dante Piacenza

Managing Director, Global Music Production: Jerry Krenach 

Executive Producer: Stacy Kay 

Group Managing Director: Jamie Ross

Account Director: Joey Ziarko 

Account Supervisor: Kayla Friedman

Athletes: Simone Biles, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Carli Lloyd, Missy Franklin, Ashton Eaton, Logan Dooley, Dartanyon Crockett

Production Company: Pulse Films

Director: Michael Haussman

President of Commercials: Kira Carstensen

Executive Producer: Hillary Rogers

Producer: Linda Masse

Director of Photography: Paul Cameron

Editorial Company: Cut+Run

Editor: Jon Grover

Executive Producer: Raná Martin

Producer: Ellese Jobin

Visual Effects: Framestore

Audio Engineer: Michael Marineli

Audio Studio: Sonic Union

Composition: "Rhapsody In Blue" by George Gershwin

Arrangement and Production: Yessian Music

Arranger: Dan Zank

Record and Mix Engineer: Gerard Smerek

Partner/CCO: Brian Yessian

VO Talent: Matt Damon

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