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Customer Complaints Part 2

27 July 2009

As a follow on from the Customer Complaints article we have seen host of videos coming out on You Tube that have used the guitar video as a platform to launch their own marketing campaigns. This is an extract from the full report. Clever opportunistic marketing, very clever.

1. — In the tradition of Bill Mays and pitchmen everywhere comes this entertaining infomercial by the inventor of the Clam CaseXtreme, a flight case to protect musical instruments.  In the video the inventor beats the case with a hammer and even jumps on it.  When speaking about the strap to close the case, it features lines like this: “It takes the same licking, keeps on clicking.”  A title superimposed over part of the video says “United should rent these to customers.”  It’s just campy enough to make you smile.  So if the infomercial approach appeals to you, you might check this one out

2. — Someone named Steven at, a music lessons company, filmed a video in which he said that in solidarity, his business would cancel flights on United.  And then he offers  to let Dave Carroll use his Taylor guitar any time he is in the San Diego area.  It’s an understated approach from a marketing perspective, but the video has gotten close to 45,000 views so far.  What this one does particularly well is make the URL of their website very very visible next to their video.

3. Taylor Guitars – Taylor Guitars, the manufacturer of the guitar that was broken by United baggage handlers, got a lot of unexpected publicity, too.  I’m not sure I had ever heard of Taylor Guitars before — now it’s the first guitar brand name I think of.  Taylor Guitars invited Dave Carroll to their factory for a tour, and set up media interviews for him while he was there — a practical gesture and “thank you” to help him get even more publicity.  But on top of that, Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars put out a nice, one-to-one video on YouTube with helpful tips for air travel, with a low-key pitch for their guitar repair services.  Very effective, in my opinion, for any service-based business.

4. Latriciawhiteagain — Latricia is a comedian with her own YouTube channel.  She does a funny, stand-up comedy routine where she plays “Ms. Irlweg,” the United employee mentioned in the original video.  Some notable lines from her routine are “That’s it!  Blame it on Irlweg!” and “Who do you think baggage handlers are?  They’re people from the Olympics – the shotput team.”  For a comedian, this is a good way to advertise your capabilities.  I hope Latricia gets a gig or two out of her video.

5. Cessna154 – Cessna154 is the handle of an aviation enthusiast who filmed asimple verbal response.  It appears as if his revenue model is to make money from Google AdSense ads embedded at the bottom of his video and on elsewhere on his YouTube channel.  For an Internet entrepreneur, this suggests some possibilities for making money online.

6. A motley crew of the remainder – There are several other videos that launched off of the original video.  There’s the improv actor whose handle is jeebee25 with over 95,000 views of his improv routine called “Inside response from United Airlines.”

Then there’s the video pitching the United Breaks Guitars T-shirts (it’s not affiliated with the Sons of Maxwell band).  I won’t link to it or the website it directs you to, because the website looks suspect.  It’s not clear that if you pay your $14.95 a T-shirt will actually be forthcoming (hey, scams are a form of “business” too, I guess).

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