I Didn’t Know Fallon Had A “B” Team

Lewis Lazare: Last spring, Jerry Dow flew the coop at United Airlines, where he helped orchestrate the debut of the carrier’s glorious “It’s Time to Fly” campaign, to become chief marketing officer for the National and Alamo car rental companies.
It took only a few weeks for Dow to initiate an agency review for the two car rental brands that resulted in Fallon/Minneapolis becoming the new ad agency of record for both National and Alamo. The same Fallon, by the way, that handles United’s advertising.
After that turn of events, we were hopeful Fallon would muster the same brilliance it brought to United’s advertising for the National and Alamo brands. But our hopes were dashed in the worst way late last week when we got our first look at the new campaign Fallon has cooked up for National, which debuts this week. The campaign tagline is “green means go.” And it doesn’t work. At all.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I’m almost certain “green means go” has been National’s tag line for several years.

  2. Even if it has been the tag line for years, Fallon’s B team should figure out how to bring that to life/make it work.
    Sounds like they didn’t do that.
    Maybe they found the tagline was too dumb to make it work in any way shape or form. That’s possible.

  3. Has anyone who’s posted comments actually seen the ads? They’re pretty freaking great.
    Just because some guy from the Sun Times thinks everything from Fallon should be animated and scored to “Rhapsody in Blue” doesn’t mean their other work is “B-Squad” quality.
    Sure, the National spots are different. And some might be offensive (hello, “Exam”?) But you gotta give an agency and client credit for sticking their necks out once in awhile.
    Support risky work, people. I sure do. Bravo to Fallon for constantly evolving.

  4. April’s comment traced to: pat-e-cake.fallon.com
    Note to all who seek to plug their own work on this blog: do it from the public library.

  5. Sounds like Fallon has both a “B” team and a cheerleading squad.

  6. All I’m saying is that maybe you should actually look at the work before you form an opinion of it.
    Agencies need more cheerleaders.

  7. That’s absolutely true, April. Good campaigns need advocates from the moment they’re concepted. And if you have any particular insight as to how Fallon came up with the campaign it did, how it ultimately became viewed as the best solution, or why Lewis Lazare is wrong (which he can be), by all means, share it with us.
    See the Saab campaign discussion for an example of what happens when folks give their 2 cents worth in a forthright manner.

  8. The National campaign may not be Fallon’s best effort, but that’s because they’ve set such a high bar for themselves with their other work. Contrast Fallon with some of the big dumps that create one nice campaign every 10 years or so and live off the fumes for another 10.