Thursday, July 9, 2009

'United Breaks Guitars' Strikes Cord with Airline

Fox News referred to him as the “poster child for anyone who has ever experienced frustration with the airline industry.” After months of exasperation leading nowhere, a Canadian singer promised a United Airlines employee that he would be writing three songs about his experience with them, make videos to go along with the three songs and offer them on the internet for a free download. Never underestimate a musician scorned.

Witnessing baggage handlers throwing their guitar cases, an indifferent attitude from flight attendants and the typical run-around by customer service for nine months gave him plenty of creative material. Dave Carroll’s satirical song, “United Breaks Guitars” registered well over a half million views on You Tube by today; only its third day online there. I thought the song was creative genius and a fun break today. Check it out on You Tube.

Apparently United also noticed the video. United posted on Twitter, "This has struck a chord with us, and we've contacted [Carroll] directly to make it right.”

Perhaps I should have said, "Never underestimate the power of viral marketing."

Ultimately the $3500 financial loss as well as months of wasted time arguing may be the best thing that could happen to Dave Carroll and his band, Sons of Maxwell. It’s given them a great platform on the internet to get better known. But it was dumb for United. Dumb and typical of “customer service” for them and a lot of the airlines.