Inside the Campaign: United Airlines “Real Time Taxi” — by mcgarrybowen, with Media Partners Kinetic, MEC, Verifone

Campaign: “Real Time Taxi” as part of the The New United in New York campaign

Agency: mcgarrybowen, with media partners Verifone, Kinetic, MEC

Client: United Airlines


JFK has long been considered “New York’s Airport.” However, Newark Airport (EWR) has many claims to be better for New York travelers; the most compelling being its proximity and ease. This dynamic out-of-home (OOH) campaign for United Airlines uses GPS real-time traffic data to dispel the myth that travel to JFK is faster than travel to Newark Airport (EWR). To prove it, United fitted 125 New York City taxis with GPS software to show a real-time comparison of the travel times between the city and JFK and EWR airports.

This campaign for United Airlines is launching on the heels of a $120 million renovation to United Terminal C at Newark Airport. By the numbers, over 41 million passengers fly out of Newark each year (with over 28 million on United). It ranks 15th in terms of passenger volume among US airports.


New Yorkers are always on the move and place a lot of value on their time, which makes taxi tops the perfect place to execute this hyper-targeted strategy usually limited to online platforms. The campaign serves dynamic messaging showcasing the drive times to JFK vs. Newark in context, fueled by real-time mobile and taxi-location data. The intended result is for New Yorkers to realize the advantage of saving precious time by traveling to Newark versus JFK, and to reconsider their airport and airline choices when planning their next getaway.


mcgarrybowen worked with Verifone to develop the technology to create Real-Time Taxis—a first-of-its-kind campaign to use live traffic data to create a dynamic display for taxi tops. The digital taxi displays work by syncing real-time data from the Curb application, updating with every change in a taxi’s location and evolving traffic patterns. More than 45,000 data points were analyzed to optimize the campaign throughout keys areas in NYC.

Media was secured by Kinetic and MEC for all executions in New York City. In addition to taxi tops, the campaign is supported with other OOH executions including billboards, bus shelters, phone kiosks, newsstands, and in-airport units.


Creative Credits

Advertising Agency: mcgarrybowen

Chief Creative Officer, New York: Matthew Bull

Managing Director, ECD: Haydn Morris

Group Creative Director, Copy: David DiRienz

Associate Art Director: Steven Graziano

Sr. Art Director: Erik Jansen

Copywriter: Anthony Pagaza

Account Managing Director: Joey Ziarko

Account Executive: Amy Laughlin

Account Superviser: Kayla Friedman

Executive Director, Strategy: Diane Epstein

Media credits

Taxi Media Network: Verifone Media

Verifone, Vice President Taxi Media: Chris Polos

Verifone, National Account Manager: Lonnie Passy

Verifone, Sr. Product Manager: Daniel Fish

Media Agency: Kinetic & MEC

Kinetic, Director: Robin Yablonski

Kinetic, Manager: Stephanie Chiu

Kinetic, Account Executive: Kelsey Moran

Kinetic, Assistant Account Executive: Micaela Moffa

MEC, Partner/Director: Megan Warfield

MEC, Manager: Jimmy Feliz

MEC, Senior Associate: Chris Brady