Just fresh back from the unveiling ceremony of United's new livery and marketing campaign at the SFO
maintenance base. A few comments (and sorry-- I don't own a digital camera, so photos will have to come from another source):
As much as I dislike our new color scheme, I must say-- walking into the enormous hangar bay and seeing our freshly painted and cleaned B777 in the spotlights was really quite a sight! The blue underbelly was surprisingly bright, and actually seemed "uplifting." The tail, while looking rather dull in the first Internet photo, does have some depth and "soul." (Give it a chance once you see it for your own eyes!) Still, the cheatline stripes and the black UNITED just don't work for me. The black lettering especially seems out of place with the overall blue theme. However-- the brighter blue underside against the clean, white top really does announce that United is coming out from under its grey rock. Perhaps this new design will grown on me... and on others.
As for our new "United: It's Time to Fly" campaign, when our rather stiff V.P. of marketing read off the new slogan from his teleprompter, it hit the audience like a cold, dead fish. A few fellow employees around me muttered, "What about the friendly skies?" or "How about, it's time to fly the friendly skies again?" Of course, one old mechanic said, "United: It's time for a raise!" I saw no one nodding his head... until, that is, we got a glimpse of our first new TV
commercials, set to air during the Academy Awards. They're animated, with few words, and "Rhapsody in Blue" plays stronger than ever. I think they're surprisingly good and actually moving-- something I haven't felt about our ad campaigns in a long time. At the commercial's conclusion, a few people around me looked at one another and smiled.... (Wow! We were smiling at each other!)
Final reaction: when the presentation ended, we were gathered together under the huge B777 engine for a group photo (some people actually fought with one another to be able to stand in the front line -- Ah! There's the old United spirit!), and then the hangar's huge front doors were opened to reveal a shiny new Ted plane, our B763 Star Alliance plane, and a new Air Wisconsin CRJ in the new colors. After a stormy start to the day, the sun had just broken through the clouds... a fine way to end the ceremony! For the next hour, all had their photo op needs satisfied, with no rope barriers holding us back from patting the new birds for good luck.
Wish you were there! Thanks for reading my novella....