Insights for Destination & Leisure Marketers

Retro Ad of the Week: United Airlines, 1988

January 25 | Posted by: | Retro Ad of the Week, Travel

ads for airlines

Ads for airlines often focus on the experience of flying. They show luxury. Or comfort. Or amenities. However, United took a different (potentially offensive and definitely cheesy) approach in 1988. This ad promoted United’s new flights to Seoul, where it seems you’ll “feel right at home.” Our mustachioed businessman looks out of place, but from his smile, he sure doesn’t feel it. It’s an attempt to promote diversity that’s mediocrely executed at best.

FUN FACT: While this ad is targeted toward businessmen, it probably should have focused on leisure travelers. Because the Summer Olympic games were held in Seoul that very year. Now, 30 years later, Seoul will host the winter games in February. (Source: