Word has leaked about the real reason behind United Airlines' new advertising campaign featuring its classic "Fly the Friendly Skies" slogan-a steady cash flow.
Not only will the slogan be used to lure passengers and prospective customers into thinking that their winged Greyhound experience is more than that, and thus part them from their money (along with fees for baggage, drinks, lavatory usage and everything else associated with their brand of air travel), the use of the slogan-and the words--which are copyrighted, trademarked, patented and everything else, will be used to generate a steady cash flow for the carrier.
Such a cash flow will help the company through its dark times when low-cost carriers such as Allegiant and Southwest offer low-cost-with-big-frills deals or it discovers that it has paid too much for overpriced jetliners, opportunities to land at Los Angeles, La Guardia or O'Hare airports, Red Carpet® lounge furniture, its ownership of the Sears Tower in Chicago or eco-friendly faucets for the customers' restrooms in Philadelphia and Sacramento, according to comptroller G. Reedy "Daddy" Warbucks.
Several internet surfers have been hired to prowl newspaper and magazine stories, advertising copy, reviews of other airlines and restaurants and other media, noted Warbucks.
For each time that the term "Friendly Skies" is used, the author will be forced to pay $10. If the slogan "fly the friendly skies" is used, the author will be forced to pay $20. If the slogan appears in advertising copy, the fee will be $40 and $80 respectively, although higher fees may be charged depending on the size of the advertising copy's circulation. If the slogan is used in a movie or television script, the fees will start at $5,000 for the use of the word "skies" and work up to at least $50,000.
"This charge will keep our financial books balanced, happy and very friendly," Warbucks explained.
Warbucks' financial strategy will not end with charging for use of the words "fly the friendly skies". He envisions that enough receipts, invoices, checks, money orders, IOUs and cash will be generated to purchase a fleet of armored trucks. These shall be rented out to local financial institutions such as banks, credit unions and telethons. Moreover, in order to disguise their true use, the sides of the armored trucks will serve as moving billboards with messages that change every five minutes, and thus serve as an extra source of revenue.
This might represent a paradigm shift in the company's business strategy, noted an executive who did not want to be named. It's possible that if the airline business should suffer another recession, they might want to stay in the armored truck and moving billboard business and sell the airline. Possible buyers for the airline (sans armored trucks with moving billboards) might include Apple, Donald Trump or Disney, that executive said.
Who knows? With United's business strategy, such a sale might be on the horizon.