Skip to main content

Why we declined United's invitation.

United Airlines announced yesterday that it selected McGarryBowen as its new agency of record after a lengthy review.  We're happy for our friends at United and wish MB great success.

Many people are asking us why BD'M declined to participate in the review.  After all, BD'M created for United arguably the category's most distinctive and effective advertising (continuing the great work my partners Bob and Stuart led at Fallon).  The animated Rhapsody campaign has won nearly every international creative award through the years, and last year won an EFFIE for the effectiveness of our Travel Options campaign.

After United and Continental merged, with the inevitable management shuffle, the three of us came to the sober conclusion that incumbents seldom prevail in a post-merger environment and declined United's invitation to defend the business.  We decided it was smarter to invest our time and money, as well as the talents of our employees, doing great work for current clients while pursuing new opportunities.

Granted, it's easier to make a bold, principled decision after you've just prevailed in a major pitch to win a global AOR assignment from Dell, besting a range of multinationals for the computer giant's Public Sector business.

Did we make the right decision?  We think so.  While we miss our friends at United, being on offense instead of defense helped BD'M win a second global AOR from Dell, this time winning its Large Enterprise assignment, as well as the recent AOR assignment from Wagner.

I suppose the moral of this story is that sometimes in life you need to step back in order to move forward.

Comments

The United work will be never be forgotten. Tough decision for certain in today's business climate, but the right one. My continued respect and admiration.
The United work will be never be forgotten. Tough decision for certain in today's business climate, but the right one. My continued respect and admiration.
David, I applaud you and BDM's decision to not defend the newly emerged UAL account. While it may have appeared to be a gutsy move or a decision that you, Bob and Stuart wrestled with mightly; at the end of the day it sounds like a smart move and sound judgment. The irony of defending is why does a an incumbent agency have to compete against themselves for the work they have crafted. Being selective of the company (clients) you keep is a true testament of the creed of the BDM.

Popular posts from this blog

What makes a premium brand premium?

I was thinking the other day about the DNA of premium brands . One thing is certain -- it's a relative idea. For example, Hyatt is not a premium brand if you're used to staying at a W or a Ritz Carlton. But if your vacations to date have been holed up in a Holiday Inn, then by all means a stay in a Hyatt is a premium experience. Another thing is certain -- a brand is considered premium only when we believe it is worth the price. And that's where we can dig deeper. Why are we willing to pay more for a product when there are others that provide the same service or function at a lesser price? I have spent a good part of my marketing career developing strategies and ideas for a wide range of  premium brands, including American Express, Sony, Callaway Golf, Hilton, Jaguar, Land Rover – even the Toyota Prius.  Through these experiences I have come to believe that a premium brand is built upon specific tangible and intangible attributes that give it a sense wort

Zen and the art of an EV roadtrip.

I remember the anxiety I had when I cut the cord and switched from Cable TV to streaming.   Could I still watch live sports? Would I get all my favorite programs? Sure enough, with YouTube TV, the answer was a resounding yes to both questions.   Now I’m cutting a new cord — the gas pump — as I take my new Mustang Mach-E on a cross-country trip.   And like the time I cut Cable TV, I'm experiencing the same questions.  Will it have the range for a long drive?  Will I waste hours recharging along the way? Well, today is Day 1 on the Mach-E's first ever long distance drive , as we say farewell to Detroit and head to La Quinta.   For those of you thinking about buying an EV, I’ll be sharing daily posts to help alleviate so-called “range anxiety.”   (Trust me, in pressing the start button this morning, I’m taking a big trust-fall to shed the comfy muscle memory of ICE vehicles.) Today’s cool feature:   The FordPass app which plans the route and most efficient charge points, then send

Super game. Dull ads

As a passionate Giants fan it is safe to say that I had a good time yesterday. But as an advertising professional I felt a bit underwhelmed by the caliber of the advertising . Many were entertaining. But few possessed that intangible Super Bowl-ness...big, pop-cultural, fun. Even fewer seemed to have anything relevant to say about the brand, such as the Planters "uni-brow" spot. I loved the Bridgestone "screaming animals" spot, but it would have been a much better spot for the Saab featured in the spot than the tires the car rode upon. As for Bud, good spots, but I've seen the dog and horse thing before. Tide's talking stain was funny, but did it have Super Bowl-ness? My fav? The Coke "balloon float" spot. It was classic Coke (for Coke Classic). Big. Entertaining. Unexpected twist. Utterly charming. And Charlie Brown finally won something. Coke is about smiles. And that spot was just that. The Audi spot that I wrote about last week