Dave’s guitar against United Airlines

The Story

The story is the following, Dave Carroll is a Canadian musician. He took a United flight to Nebraska. In Chicago, he watched how the people from United threw his guitar out of the plane and his guitar was broken. He tried to talk to the customer service the “civil” way by complaining, but after 9 months, he still didn’t get any compensation for the broken guitar.

The Action

He then decided to do what he does best, namely write a song about it and posted the song on Youtube and a couple of days later, he had 150 000 views.

The Result

The video topped the viral world and it got covered by many sites (Mashable, VisibleMeasures, Mediapost, MarketingPilgrim, Adweek, Adage and many more),  a lot of news channels like CNN (see video below), LA Times, Chicago Tribune and others, as well as the usual social media platforms as Twitter and Facebook.

Dave Caroll’s Statement after the victory

United came finally back with a compensation. Apparently, they appreciated the video and will now use it as a case study for the customer service. Dave Carroll came back with a very cheesy and very American answer:

The oppotunists

With a funny and successful campaign like this there are always some people who take this opportunity to do business or to be the nice guys! Look at the guy from Taylor Guitars

The CEO wears a poor T-shirt with his brand on it. How surprising!

Inside Facebook all of a sudden reported on the success of the Facebook pages from Airline companies.


Strangely enough, United Airlines is not in the top 20.


It must be a professional deviation, but I can’t stop thinking about the ROI of the campaign.

The ROI for United is probably not the positive, even if I’m convinced that they managed the damage by not communicating publically and avoiding to be as ridiculous as the guy from Dominos some time ago … or the guy from Taylor Guitar

What about Dave Carroll and his band then? They’ve gone from relatively unknown (at least for me) to super-cyber-stars. They won a lot in reputation, but I’m convinced they saw their sales grow big time. And what about the song, you can even buy the song on iTunes.


One thought on “Dave’s guitar against United Airlines

  1. Pingback: 2009 in viral videos « Talk Digital

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