Most people out there (myself included) probably do not know that United has a partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival. In exchange for their longstanding sponsorship, this year the film festival allowed United to show a 30-second ad showcasing their new Polaris business class before each of the screenings, which was greeted with, erm, interesting results.
Apparently, United and the film festival decided to stop showing the ad (which highlighted United’s supposedly excellent service) because people laughed so hard at it that no one could hear the advertisement played after it. Some found it so ridiculous that they thought it seemed like a parody. According to sources cited in this article, the same thing happened at other private and public screenings during the festival.
By the fourth day of the event, the festival organizers and United had made a joint decision to stop playing the ad entirely. A spokesperson stated that United is still a valued partner and that the festival is grateful for its support, but, as Matthew Klint of Live and Let’s Fly pointed out, seems like a nice way of saying, “thanks for all the money, but we want nothing to do with you.”
Talk about a publicity nightmare…