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Stars align in United's 'Heart' commercial

12th September 2008 Print
United Airlines has released a documentary on the making of its “Heart” television commercial, giving customers a behind-the-scenes look at the studio recording of the ad's musical score by Grammy award-winning American jazz legend, Herbie Hancock, and world-renowned Chinese classical pianist, Lang Lang. The two performed George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue together at the Grammy Awards earlier this year.

The documentary may be viewed at

“Having watched Herbie and Lang Lang perform Rhapsody in Blue at the Grammys, it made sense that we reunite two of the world’s greatest musicians to help tell the story of a business traveler’s journey, and her joyous return to her husband,” says Dennis Cary, senior vice president – Marketing.

“Our documentary goes behind the scenes to show how Herbie and Lang Lang musically connect in ‘Heart’ to reflect the deep emotions shared by the couple depicted in the spot.”

“Heart,” United’s new television ad, portrays the connection between a husband and wife and United’s role in reuniting them. The commercial depicts a woman leaving her husband to fly to Europe for a business presentation. As she says goodbye, she leaves her heart behind as a symbol of her love, and her husband tenderly safeguards the heart until her return. Using stop-motion animation and paper puppetry, California-based director Jamie Caliri and his team placed dimensional cardboard puppets in miniature sets that were shot frame by frame.

United’s new commercials are the first spots that have been created by its new ad agency, Barrie D'Rozario Murphy, whose two founding partners - Bob Barrie and Stuart D’Rozario - were instrumental in the creation of the “It’s Time to Fly” campaign in 2004. The campaign has earned the Gold Effie Award for marketing effectiveness and was nominated for an Emmy Award.