I have to give Kayak props though, the CMO responded less than twelve hours later with this:
I just read your e-mail, and I'm very sorry that our ad offended you. We definitely meant no disrespect. I have the utmost respect and gratitude for our veterans and the sacrifices they've made for us. I know what they did for us. I personally have many family members who have served or are currently serving including my father. One of our co-founders father's served in WWII as did the main actor's father. The ad is intended to convey that the character is poking fun at himself. We've also received positive feedback including from current service members and veterans though I'm not discounting your sentiments at all. Again, I sincerely apologize, and we certainly did not mean to offend you.
I do appreciate your quick reply to my gripe. I have not changed my opinion on the humor of your commercial, though I do believe it more a case of poor taste (my opinion) rather than maliciousness. I understand, and have even seen, that there is positive feedback on this commercial. I try to keep a good sense of humor about most topics, and often laugh at my own absurdity, and even usually see the humor when my beliefs are lampooned. However, there is a growing trend to make our veterans, of which I am one, a target of ridicule and other humor that is in poor taste. It generally takes much to offend me, but this trend, and it's effects, do the job effectively. I urge you to take a close look at the content of future advertisements, as I am not the only one that found this particular ad disrespectful. If you were to continue to advertise with similar content, even tongue-in-cheek and innocently, it would definitely inflame many of a similar mindset to myself. While I still am not happy about the ad, I do however have a sense of fairness, and as such, posted your letter explaining the ad as an addendum to my original blog post. Once again, I thank you for your response, as well as the rapidity in responding. This shows a dedication to customer service that is severely lacking from most companies in this day and age.
Right Wing Extreme
I appreciate your note back. Veteran's are one group that I would never intentionally ridicule, and I'm not a sensitive type. We truly did mean things in a different way, and I definitely didn't take your e-mail as a gripe.
Props for the quick response, but I have to disagree, even I would call my original email to Kayak a gripe.
GOD BLESS AMERICA AND DEATH TO HER ENEMIES!