Moving Ads That Aren’t ‘Moving’

Reasoning that moving is right up there with dentistry in its consumer appeal, United Van Lines is attempting to lighten things up with a new campaign.

The work, breaking this week from new agency Grey New York, also introduces the tagline, “There’s moving and there’s moving United,” and a new logo from New York design firm Lippincott. The rebranding marks the launch of United’s expanded set of services, which includes the moving and storage of portable containers.

While previous campaigns for United Van Lines aimed to tug at the heartstrings (former tagline: “Love your move”), the new approach is zany. The inaugural TV spot, for instance, compares the carrier with more chaotic alternatives like letting “raccoons to run amok with your electronics.”

The new TV, print and rebranding effort are the first marketing initiatives since Jason Mills joined United Van Lines parent company Unigroup as director of strategic marketing and brand management last June. (He was previously director of business development at Spectrum Brands.) Unigroup, which had formerly worked with Avrett Free Ginsberg, hired Grey at the end of 2009; the company was already working with Grey Group’s G2 unit for direct response work.

The breaking campaign coincides with new United Web sites for United Van Lines and United Containers, expanded efforts in social media and more SEO and SEM emphasis.

United Van Lines spent $1.6 million in measured media advertising in 2009, down from $4.7 million in 2008. While Mills said United isn’t increasing its marketing budget, given the battered real estate market, he has new spending priorities: “We’re increasing our focus and investment in rebranding and repositioning so that when the market does turn around, we’ll be well-positioned to take advantage of that.”

Publish date: April 11, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT