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Matt Damon ousted from United Airlines seat in spoof Jimmy Kimmel ad

Jimmy Kimmel has enlisted the help of his ultimate 'frenemy' Matt Damon to rip United Airlines in a spoof campaign.

The fake film is underscored by Damon and Kimmel's longstanding fake feud, which was ignited when the presenter off-handedly apologized to the actor for bumping him from an episode of his late-night show.

Showcasing serene in-air scenes and panning shots of United Airlines jets in flight, the ad starts out by referencing the brand's recent PR disaster in which an attempt to remove a passenger from an overbooked flight ended up in a blood-splattered, global outcry.

"United has been trying to stay out of the spotlight this week, but they started running a new commercial today," said Kimmel.

He added: "I think they may have to get rid of their celebrity spokesman."

The audience then hears Bourne Identity actor Damon waxing lyrical about the company in a voiceover segment.

"We’re United Airlines. We work hard to get you safely to your destination and that’s why we..." Damon says.

He then interjected: "You know what? No, no, I can’t do this anymore, because I know what it’s like to get bumped. Trust me, I’ve been getting bumped from Jimmy’s show for the past eight years and it takes a toll.

"We’re people, damn it, and we deserve to be treated with dignity, not told night after night, 'Oh, there’s somebody more important so take a hike.' No, it's time to stand up," he says.

Kimmel is heard in the background seemingly removing Damon from his seat to take over and read the strapline: "Fly the friendly skies".

Footage emerged last week of a United Airlines passenger being forcibly removed from his seat by three Chicago Aviation security officials. Despite a defensive initial statement in the aftermath of the incident, United has since said it takes full responsibility and will "fix what’s broken" so the same thing doesn't happen again.

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Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum with a remit to cover the latest developments in social media marketing and wider industry news. Based in Glasgow, she has interviewed key figures from brands like Airbnb, Amnesty International, Facebook and Spotify. She has covered international events in Berlin and Amsterdam, as well as Advertising Week Europe.

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