Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sweet Revenge against United Airlines

Having tangled with customer service of various companies a couple of times, I have been tempted to get my own back through a campaign on Youtube. Remember the Kryptonite bike lock that could be opened with a ballpoint pen? But this recent video by Canadian singer Dave Carroll gained him an audience of over 4.9 million on Youtube, plus several networks like CNN and BBC doing interviews. Basically, United Airlines in Chiacago bust his guitar while in transit. What was worse, while they were sitting in the plane, the musicians could see the groundstaff outside the plane throwing their instruments around. United Airlines staff showed a total lack of interest. Dave tried for 9 months to get compensation. Then he gathered friends together to peform his song about United. The "making of" shows they had a lot of fun.

I’ve receive many “why the Mexicans” questions and the answer is simple. The music and feel of the song reminded me of a combination of old Marty Robbins and early Elvis tunes. Since “Fun In Acapulco” is my favourite Elvis movie, and in it he had a mariachi back-up band, I thought it’d be funny to have a mariachi group in this video. Because I didn’t have a budget for full mariachi outfits I simply bought sombreros and moustaches and the Amigos were born.

There were various stories last month that the song had caused a massive drop in United's share price. I think that was overstated - the whole airline industry is in a slump right now. But the mayhem this must have caused in the marketing and PR departments of United is priceless. Carroll has since put out a statement challenging United to compensate a charity of their choice rather than pay him the damages directly. I cannot believe why United hasn't just jumped at the opportunity to put things right. I guess the decision makers are out to lunch on this one. Song 2 and 3 have yet to air on Youtube.
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