When United Airlines decided to launch a new campaign around its sustainability efforts, company officials turned to a celebrity spokesman who knows more about garbage than just about anyone.
Oscar the Grouch.
United has named the Sesame Street character its first Chief Trash Officer as part of its effort to promote the benefits of using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
SAF is an alternative to conventional jet fuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with air travel. It is made from used cooking oil and agricultural waste, and could eventually include household trash and forest waste.
Thus, Oscar’s expertise in the field is being called upon.
The puppet will be featured in more than 30 pieces of video, digital, and social content in a campaign that follows his journey from job listing to C-suite executive. Real-life United employees will be included in the campaign.
“United has enlisted Oscar to help educate the traveling public of all ages about SAF and rally them to the cause of fighting climate change,” United CCO Josh Earnest said in a release. “From banana peels to fryer grease, Oscar is uniquely qualified to help us explain why trash could be the treasure that fuels the jets of the future.”
United is also asking its customers to help in the fight, giving them the option to contribute to the company’s UAV Sustainable Flight Fund. It is designed to help start-ups focused on research, technology, and production of SAF.
To make its point, United is showing the estimated carbon footprint of each economy seat passenger on its flights.
“United has invested in more sustainable aviation fuel production than any airline in the world, by far,” Earnest said. “Every airline burns jet fuel to run their business, but no airline will solve climate change on its own.”
Sesame Workshop is proud to be a part of the effort and include Oscar in the campaign.
“This campaign provided a special opportunity to showcase an iconic Sesame Street character, Oscar the Grouch, celebrating what he loves best: trash,” said Jennifer Ahearn, a vice president with Sesame Workshop. “The amazing collaboration helps United Airlines explain in simpler terms the technology of turning trash into fuel in a fun and engaging manner.”
As part of the campaign, United will make donations to Sesame Workshop’s Welcome Sesame initiative. United passengers will also have the opportunity to donate to the initiative.
Welcome Sesame brings together global programs to help with early learning and care for children and caregivers impacted by crisis.
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