Ted Mixes Ads With One-on-One Marketing

CHICAGO Traditional advertising for Ted, United Airlines’ new low-fare carrier, will break in Denver on Wednesday, targeting vacation travelers and touting the subsidiary’s personal touch.

“When consumers fly on business, they want to get to their destination on time; they want to have status; they want to earn miles; they want to upgrade,” said Bruce Bildsten, creative director at United agency Fallon in Minneapolis. “When people fly on leisure, the flight is actually part of the vacation experience. They want to have a fun time on the flight, so the experience on Ted is going to be in line with the mentality of the people taking the trip.”

After a recent guerilla marketing campaign that featured “random acts of kindness” for a mysterious “Ted,” the Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based airline will begin advertising via traditional channels in advance of the carrier’s launch in February. Though the media plan will include television, print and outdoor, the agency will look to maintain some aspects of the one-on-one marketing, Bildsten said.

“We’ll be adjusting for community and events and it will be fun just like the teaser campaign,” he said. “One thing about the teaser campaign is it’s not about being clever; it’s about being friendly and doing good things in the community in a way that endear the airline to the community rather than imposing on it.”

The low-cost carrier, which will provide service from Denver to Las Vegas and Reno, Nev., Phoenix, New Orleans, Tampa and Orlando, Fla., and Ontario, Calif., will look to differentiate itself from its parent in several ways, such as selling food on board, unique entertainment options and a new look and attitude for its flight attendants. The airline will also use a piece of music—still being determined—that is distinct from United’s signature “Rhapsody in Blue.” Fallon is owned by Publicis Groupe.