The Odd Couple, United And… Spiderman?


It’s not the first super-hero partnership, in fact, Turkish Airlines has had a whole wave of super heroes in their safety video for over a year since the Lego Movie came out, and Superman and Batman have been adorning one of their 777’s for years. But, beginning June 1, United Airlines will launch its latest inflight safety demonstration video featuring Spider-Man in an entertaining mini-drama film.

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In addition to the safety video, United’s broader promotional partnership with Sony Pictures in celebration of Spider-Man: Far From Home will include one-of-a-kind Spider-Man: Far From Home-themed Polaris business class amenity kits and unique experiences for MileagePlus members to see the highly-anticipated summer blockbuster through MileagePlus Exclusives.

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While the execution is predictable, wooden and lacks any true humour, which always underpins Marvel comics, there is an apparent logic for featuring the cameo. “For decades, Spider-Man has consistently shown the importance of using power to do good and to keep the public safe. We also believe that our greatest responsibility is to keep our customers and crew safe on board our aircraft,” said United’s Vice President of Marketing, Mark Krolick. “We are excited to have Spider-Man and his friends, along with our employees, bring new attention to the inflight safety video and creatively engage customers on such an important announcement.”

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There is a great nod to all Marvel movies, with Stan Lee making an appearance in the movie. Gill Champion, President of Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment went on to say, “Stan loved doing his cameos and would love to know they are continuing, so we were thrilled to work with Sony Pictures and United Airlines to make this happen for both Stan and the fans.” Even CEO Oscar Munoz makes a cameo as well as the new airline livery.

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This video almost hits the mark, but the brand partnership and execution is at odds, with an airline, not used to pushing the boundaries and an ageing demographic, adopting a safety message that’s firmly aimed at a millennial audience. But if that’s the case, why not use a younger cabin-crew cast, that relates to the target demographic. The intertwining of narrative and safety messages does come across stilted and sadly shoe-horned. It almost reminds us of when boarding and starting to watch a movie, the moments when United’s short branded messages keep interrupting the film.

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Beginning in June, United customers traveling in Polaris business class will receive a limited-edition Spider-Man: Far From Home themed amenity kit by Buzz products, which will feature Spidey-branded comfort products including an eye mask, socks, tissues, ear plugs, a toothbrush and a pen alongside luxury skincare products, designed exclusively for United customers – not sure if that’s what Business Class passengers really want, but I’ll hand it to them, these are a lot more fun in execution.

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Starting today on MileagePlus Exclusives, members are able to bid award miles on a one-of-a-kind experience to attend the Spider-Man: Far From Home premiere in Los Angeles on June 26. This opportunity will give a member access for two to attend the premiere, red carpet event and afterparty. Members also have the ability to use miles to attend a pre-release screening of Spider-Man: Far From Home in one of United’s seven hub cities.

2 comments

  1. pukoh

    So bad. So so bad.

  2. William

    I want one of those eye masks.

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