washingtonian
Topic Author
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How Much Does United Use Rhapsody In Blue?

Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:08 pm

I know the new United is sticking with the Rhapsody in Blue theme....But is it only in advertisements? What about when waiting on the phone? Or when boarding flights? Or in theme music onboard?

It is probably one of the most quintessential American symphonic songs...I would think United would want to associate itself with it as much as possible!

Also, is "Flying the Friendly skies" long gone at this point?
 
gigneil
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RE: How Much Does United Use Rhapsody In Blue?

Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:50 pm

You hear it during all those things.

NS
 
26point2
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RE: How Much Does United Use Rhapsody In Blue?

Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:02 am

Quoting washingtonian (Thread starter):
It is probably one of the most quintessential American symphonic songs...I would think United would want to associate itself with it as much as possible!

Good for them, but because if UAL I have come to hate that tune. Must be 2 decades now?

When I hear it now all I think of is being on telephone hold. Before we made web bookings would have it droning on and on in the ear while waiting for an agent.

Too bad they spoiled a nice tune...for me at least.
 
PI767
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RE: How Much Does United Use Rhapsody In Blue?

Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:08 am

I dont know how much United uses it now. I live in a market (DFW) that gets zero United advertising and most of my travels either on my own airline or NRSA don't involve United.... but I have to say that United did something right with that music. There is no other song that I can hear that makes me associate it with another company (of ANY type) the way that Rhapsody in Blue makes me immediately think of United. A brilliantly used advertising campaign and I hope United realizes that.
"Piedmont. The Model of What a Good Airline Should Be."
 
Viscount724
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RE: How Much Does United Use Rhapsody In Blue?

Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:10 am

 
ordbosewr
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RE: How Much Does United Use Rhapsody In Blue?

Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:07 am

I was watching the NY Giants vs Washington Redskins game (yeah, I know why would any sane person do that, well I HATE the NFL broadcast rules, but dtv is just too much money, so it was my only choice to watch football) this past weekend and United had an ad where they touted that they were the official airline of the Giants. The music played during the background the entire time was Rhapsody in Blue.

I kindda liked the ad, but it was cheesy.
 
tan1mill
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RE: How Much Does United Use Rhapsody In Blue?

Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:16 am

Quoting washingtonian (Thread starter):
Also, is "Flying the Friendly skies" long gone at this point?

That slogan was so successful that in a way it became the slogan for all the airlines. Customers from all the carriers began using the phrase to describe travel on an airline, not just United. United no longer uses it, and the only time I see it used now is by the media when they write a negative article about aviation.

Example: http://www.courierpostonline.com/art...1/109110323/The-not-friendly-skies
Love many, Trust few, Always paddle your own canoe.
 
PI767
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RE: How Much Does United Use Rhapsody In Blue?

Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:54 am

Quoting tan1mill (Reply 6):
That slogan was so successful that in a way it became the slogan for all the airlines. Customers from all the carriers began using the phrase to describe travel on an airline, not just United. United no longer uses it, and the only time I see it used now is by the media when they write a negative article about aviation.

I don't know for sure when United stopped using the "Friendly Skies" slogan, but I almost have to wonder if the reason behind discontinuing that advertising campaign doesn't have something do do with the fact that American stopped referring to their aircraft as "LuxuryLiners" and "LuxuryJets."

According to an internal AA publication, the decision to stop using those terms was based on the idea that nothing about flying in today's modern age can be desribed as "Luxury."

Perhaps United also realized that using the phrase "The Friendly Skies" was advertising an era that is long gone.
"Piedmont. The Model of What a Good Airline Should Be."
 
billreid
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RE: How Much Does United Use Rhapsody In Blue?

Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:16 am

This is the best thread I have ever seen on A-net.

Rhapsody in blue. Was written by George Gershwin. He was commissioned to write a symphony and he had procrastinated to great lengths. In the end he hopped on a Train in New England for NYC with nothing in hand. Being typical procrastinator he wrote this on the train.

Listen to it, the beat is to the train wheels passing over the rails on the way to NYC. The beat picks up slowly as the train excellerates slowly.

It is the greatest piece of American composing ever written in my opinion.

But similarly, UA is LOST. It chose a train beat for its theme song.
Perhaps those fools in Chicago could stop humming and start reducing costs.
If the economy tanks the song will slow and eventually come to a full stop.
Some people don't get it. Business is about making MONEY!
 
washingtonian
Topic Author
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RE: How Much Does United Use Rhapsody In Blue?

Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:14 am

Quoting PI767 (Reply 7):
doesn't have something do do with the fact that American stopped referring to their aircraft as "LuxuryLiners" and "LuxuryJets."

Do you know what year AA stopped doing that?

Quoting billreid (Reply 8):
This is the best thread I have ever seen on A-net.

Why thank you!  
Quoting billreid (Reply 8):
It is the greatest piece of American composing ever written in my opinion.

I agree. I can't think of a more American song.

Quoting gigneil (Reply 1):
You hear it during all those things.

They really play it during boarding? I guess I haven't flown United recently.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 4):
Related recent news item.

Thanks for the link...I really hope they do not drop it! That would be very sad. With the good news of United extending a lot of the PMUA features (Y+, Channel 9, etc) to PMCO aircraft, and the Widget sadly gone, I hope they will keep Rhapsody!!
 
avek00
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RE: How Much Does United Use Rhapsody In Blue?

Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:32 am

Rhapsody ain't going anywhere. United is presently using the song on CO flights -- during the safety video and some inflight advertising -- to begin the mental association of Continental with United.
Live life to the fullest.
 
dadoftyler
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RE: How Much Does United Use Rhapsody In Blue?

Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:55 am

Quintissential American music. I've been jealous of United for years for branding it! Love this music....see, music from the USA isn't all Brittney and Taylor! (LOL)

Good job, UA...keep a fantastic brand tool in play!

DOT
 
kfitz
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RE: How Much Does United Use Rhapsody In Blue?

Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:13 am

While we're on the subject, we may as well bring up the Robert Redford "It's Time To Fly" ads, each of which had it's own individually performed Rhapsody orchestra arrangement. They also used a wide variety of different techniques of animations, from some of the world's best animators.

my favorite (China commercial - One of the best rhapsody arragements there is, imo!) :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahNMFHouduQ

Second favorite (sea orchestra, performed by LA Philharmonic

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFXbCSDq6Cg

Third favorite (heart - performed by Jazz legend Herbie Hancock and classical prodigy Lang Lang of China, on dueling pianos - a touching spot that uses emotion to such graceful levels - Debuted during 2008 Olympics):

...and the behinds the scenes of "heart" too. Very cool:]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHgyB9U56Dk



PMUA may not have had a world class product, or world class customer service, but they did have a world class brand and respective commercial spots. They were just beautiful, pieces of a branding campaign that will likely be recognized as the best of the last decade in the industry. The "A Life" commercial back from 2005 was even recognized by the Museum of Modern as a "work of art", to be part of its permanent collection.

http://www.triversmyersmusic.com/abo...ommercial-a-life-as-a-work-of-art/

I hate to say it - but the new CO branding, like the brand itself, represents a complete shift downward. The Rhapsody arrangements in the three latest commercials sports are some of the worst, garish sounding ones in any UA commercial in memory. I'm pretty sure than spend money on a custom arrangement, they just dug into a pre-recorded one from the early 90s - that's what it sounds like.

The UA brand, at least in the interim campaign we have now, has been brought down to Walmart, gumball levels of unsophistication, classlessness and just general tackiness. CO's brand and their Kaplan Thaler branding activities were far from being memorable, sophisticated, or elegant. I always said it was an in your face gum ball chewing, "whaduwant" type of campaign. Now it's the face of United Airlines worldwide, at least until KT leaves next year.

This version of Rhapsody starts playing circus clown music early on, making the video sound like a parody joke, and not a legitimate ad from "the world's leading airline" that deserves to be taken seriously. Honestly, it's almost insulting the viewers intelligence when Robert Redford and "It's time to fly" instead changes to a big "swoosh" of a painfully fake looking aircraft "flying by", on top of a generic voice saying "you're going to like where we land", ending with a sharp piano note that is the essence of "cheesy". Now that I think about it, the arrangement is perfect for a child's pull up diapers spot. Ugh, it's bad. It's like going from first to worst.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZZHJAj44zo











[Edited 2011-09-15 23:55:43]