a white airplane flying in the sky

Don’t worry grammar police, in the words of Tracy Jordan – Superman does good, you do well – but United is indeed doing good with its London billboard space. The company is donating ads it couldn’t get out of to UNICEF. See, good – not well.

The ads, to the tune of a six figure sum are a wonderful move at a time when many around the world are hurting, and although United takes lots of deserved flack, they deserve applause here.

The United Nations Children’s Fund is a vital charity providing humanitarian relief and development aid to children who need it most. In the groups most recent figures, they provide education to no fewer than 12 million children, help deliver over 25 million babies annually and administer crucial vaccines to over 65 million children a year.

united polaris business class cabinUnited Airlines, like many travel brands around the world is struggling to find the right footing for future campaigns. If they’re looking for a blueprint, this new ad from Emirates might be the perfect lead to follow, but in the meantime – that doesn’t help with contracts where the airline can’t get out of ad buys.

Rather than just sticking something up across prime London outdoor space, in a move of pure class, United donated the entire ad buy to UNICEF. The amount is reported to be circa $100,000, so it’s a significant contribution.

London is the most sought after aviation market in the world, with half of the worlds most valuable, and likely profitable routes. Yes, 5/10 of these involve Heathrow on one end or the other, and United is in an extremely competitive fight against stiff competition, in the form of joint business ventures where airlines pool profits and resources among a group of airlines.

Air France, Delta, KLM and Virgin Atlantic form one of the mega joint venture across the pond, and American, British Airways, Finnair and Iberia form the next. Unsurprisingly, London has been a major advertising market, including notable recent campaigns like British Airways “look up” ads, which told you which plane was actually flying overhead. Well done United for being a force of good in these trying times.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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