OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO
UNITED AIRLINES WANTED TO LET TRAVELERS KNOW—COLLEGE STUDENTS, IN PARTICULAR—THAT YOU COULD EARN AND USE MILES ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS WITH STAR ALLIANCE PARTNERS.
Content Strategy, Concept Development, a tidal wave of Copywriting & Editing, Client Presentation
A significant percentage of Mileage Plus members weren't aware they could earn and use miles with Star Alliance partners, or that it would count toward Premier status. United wanted to remedy that.
In addition, United wanted to promote College Plus, a new loyalty program for students. It featured benefits similar to Mileage Plus, as well as other perks like exclusive fares and mileage bonuses to help students earn free flights quickly.
We developed the “United is Rising” campaign for Mileage Plus members, and “Fly Wherever, Free” for potential College Plus members.
Both campaigns featured detailed program information and images of destinations that would result in the largest mileage bonuses. Just as important, we reminded members that miles were valid for international travel on Star Alliance airlines.
The strategy was to deluge members with privileges to make flying with United irresistible.
Since students were less savvy about benefits, the hook was simple: with College Plus, you can earn free flights, fast, to travel wherever you liked. The tagline, "Fly Wherever, Free" was introduced everywhere from campuses to shopping malls.
We communicated with international members, as well, and featured copy in native languages—Mandarin and Spanish, for example.
The second phase was about retention. Mailers and postcards were sent to make sure members were earning miles in the best ways possible.
We weren’t shy about communicating mileage bonuses and fast-tracks to Premier status—the bold headlines practically yelled the offers.
We also promoted exclusive benefits available to those who reached Premier Executive 1K status.
In addition, whenever a route was added with a Star Alliance carrier, we featured it front-and-center on quarterly newsletters.
Customers quickly became aware that United offered more bonuses, advantages, and flexibility than competing airlines.
"United is Rising” and “Fly Wherever, Free" raised the airline's profile and realized a considerable return on investment.