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United Airlines releases meme campaign targeting unlucky Southwest travelers


By Audrey Kemp | Junior Reporter

November 3, 2022 | 4 min read

The unconventional campaign suggests that United Airlines offers an easier check-in process than its competitors.

alarm clocks

United Airlines says it offers a less stressful boarding process than its competitors / Credit: United Airlines

United Airlines is taking a shot at Southwest Airlines in a cheeky new ad campaign.

The effort centers on various meme-format ads designed to resonate with travelers who may have set multiple alarms – or written themselves too many reminder notes – to avoid being stuck in the dreaded Southwest ‘Boarding Group C.’

These unlucky passengers know the struggle all too well: they get the longest wait at the gate, the worst of the seat options and no room in the overhead bins.

The playful ads direct viewers to a microsite called for a ‘Courte-c’ call that reminds them to check in.

meme with post-it notes

“We’re sounding a light-hearted alarm to remind travelers who may not choose United that there’s an easier way to travel,” United Airlines’ managing director of advertising and social media Maggie Schmerin said in a statement. “Ideally, the next time these travelers are flying, they won’t need to check in 24 hours before or risk being in ‘Group C,’ because they will have chosen to fly with United and not one of our competitors.”

The campaign, developed by creative agency 72andSunny, launches at the beginning of November (just in time for the holidays) on its microsite, and also voice call, social and digital out-of-home (DOOH) in select cities including Denver and Chicago.

“Our goal was to wake up Southwest loyalists to a better flying experience on United Airlines,” said Maddie McDowell, creative director at 72andSunny Los Angeles. “So we reached across the aisle, figuratively speaking, with a helping hand and a cheeky reminder about the perks of flying United ... like no ‘Group C’ and having to board last.”

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