Many people interested in public relations have been following the UNITED BREAKS GUITARS story which first unfolded four months ago when Dave Carroll, a solo singer-song- and member of the then relatively unknown group, Sons of Maxwell, uploaded his song UNITED BREAKS GUITARS to YouTube, describing his on-going, year-long saga with United Airlines which refused to compensate him for the $1,200 damage it inflicted on his Taylor guitar worth $3,200, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo. The song, UNITED BREAKS GUITARS, instantly garnered attention on YouTube, going viral on the Internet to the tune of over 6 million views between July 6th 2009 when it was first uploaded, until today November 13, 2009, where it still inflicts negative publicity on United Airlines who have done very little to deflect this negative publicity.
News coverage of UNITED BREAKS GUITARS was extensive following Dave Carroll’s video-upload to YouTube. The story was covered around the world by media giants such as CNN, BBC, and the CBC, by influential Internet blogs such as the Huffington Post and Mashable, and by reputable newspapers and magazines such as the New York Times and Rolling Stone Magazine. The coverage slowly died down after a few weeks, increasing yet again with the upload to YouTube of the second song in the trilogy of UNITED BREAKS GUITARS that was promised by Dave Carroll to his supporters, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-UoERHaSQg.
Since then, while YouTube views of UNITED BREAKS GUITARS continue to climb, the first song having reached over 6 million views, publicity has changed direction, moving into customer service speaking engagements. Dave Carroll has appeared at a number of events including Washington’s congressional hearings on passenger rights. One of his latest engagements was at a Customer Service and Social Networking conference in Colorado Springs where ironically, traveling yet again on United Airlines, his luggage was lost, taking an unfortunate detour via Calgary and Dallas-Fort Worth before it was found and re-routed to its correct destination. Once again, negative publicity swirled around United Airlines and YouTube views of the UNITED BREAKS GUITARS songs climbed to reach over 6 million views.
All in all, these episodes have catapulted Dave Carroll’s music to popularity. His websites have increased from 40-50 hits per week to over 50,000 after the first few weeks of the upload, to over 250,000 during the height of his publicity. Sales of his music have consequently increased from 1-2 songs per day to hundreds of songs per week with UNITED BREAKS GUITARS reaching popularity on iTunes in Canada and the UK during the summer months. Dave Carroll even starred in a recent TV commercial supporting local Canadian TV stations in their David and Goliath battle against giant cable companies, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKLS6sNKRGU.
Below you can watch the UNITED BREAKS GUITARS YouTube songs 1 and 2. You can read more on the public relations aspect of this incident at http://mktgcliks.blogspot.com/2009/07/united-breaks-guitars-united-airlines.html. To see the final song #3 visit http://mktgcliks.blogspot.com/2010/03/united-breaks-guitars-song-three.html.
UNITED BREAKS GUITARS -SONG 1
UNITED BREAKS GUITARS - SONG 2