Oscar the Grouch Flies United as Airline's Chief Trash Officer

Beloved Muppet champions sustainable fuel

Five decades of living in a trash can and embracing refuse of all sorts uniquely qualifies Oscar the Grouch for his first corporate position.

Today, United Airlines casts the beloved Muppet as its chief trash officer in a series of videos, digital and OOH content that champions sustainable aviation fuel. Naturally, the Sesame Street fixture doesn't clean up for his first day of work. In fact, he decorates his C-suite digs with debris, and makes a point of un-straightening his tie.

The gruff critter seems well chosen to help make United's point that some common waste materials—such as leftover cooking oil and grease—can be used to make jet propellant, resulting in reduced lifecycle emissions.

Not the grungiest boss I've encountered, actually. We like how Oscar's in the office but WFH too, perched inside his iconic metal can behind the desk. Guess that art career wound up in the Dumpster.

"Every airline burns jet fuel to run their business, but no airline will solve climate change on its own," says Josh Earnest, the carrier's chief communications officer. "United has enlisted Oscar to help us educate the traveling public of all ages about SAF and rally them to the cause of fighting climate change. 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."

Sure, but would you take the office next to his? Pee-ew!

The Muppets crew flies best for brands when they deliver lessons in a fun way. That approach feels true to the source material and resonates with audiences of all ages, because the characters pack multi-generational appeal.

Such dynamics drive United's campaign from agency 72andSunny Los Angeles, as well as the Count's numerical narrative for SmartWalelt and Elmo's Covid vaccination pitch.


United Airlines
Chief Communications Officer: Josh Earnest
Managing Director, Advertising & Social Media: Maggie Schmerin
Creative Director, Advertising & Social Media: Meg Mitchell 
Advertising & Social Media, Film & Special Projects: Dana Hughes
Advertising & Social Media, Film & Special Projects: Yareli Morales
Advertising & Social Media Manager: Lauren Eiden
Advertising & Social Media Copywriter: Liz Kozak

Creative Agency
72andSunny Los Angeles

Sesame Workshop
Vice President, Global Strategic Partnerships: Jennifer Ahearn
Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships: Jason Johns
VP & Executive Producer; Sesame Street Production: Sal Perez
Sr Director of Content: Autumn Zitani Stefano
Creative Director, Character Design: Louis Mitchell
Content Operations & Programming Director: Emilie Bandy
Content & Programming Director: Alyssa Menard

Jim Henson Company
Senior Production Manager: Melissa Creighton
Creative Supervisor: Jason Webber
Performer Coordinator: Joe Roddy
Assistant to the Creative Supervisor: Delassie Gadzanku
Puppet Wranglers: Lara MacLean, Stacey Weingarten

Bob Industries
Director: Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton
Executive Producer: TK Knowles, John O’Grady
Producer: Phillip Sheridan
Staff Producer: Kathleen Custer
Production Supervisor: Donald Cager

Whitehouse Post
Executive Producer: Joanna Manning
Editor: Heidi Black
Assistant Editor: Joe Carugati

Colorist: Arianna Shining Star

Mix Engineer: Raphaël Ajuelos

Walter Schupfer Management
Photographer: Sami Drasin
Digi Tech: Charley Parden
Production Manager: Jung Kim

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