Southwest Launches Seven New Spots

Southwest Airline ad spot

Southwest Airlines is extending its employee-focused ad campaign with seven new spots launching this week, featuring a new set of employees and new messages.

The ads will run in national and local media, with two spots airing during broadcasts of the college basketball championship games. Employees are also featured in new print and digital ads as well as the in-airport ads.

One of the TV spots specifically focuses on the fact that customers can purchase Southwest Airlines fares and flights only online at and not on any other travel Web site. Another spot, "Battle Cry," features 10 ramp agents "revealing" Southwest's "Bags Fly Free" policy.

"I think that it is a terrific spot for Southwest," says Henry Harteveldt, principal airline analyst for Forrester Research. "It's just like the airline -- it's human and funny and irreverent. And it makes the point about the bags fly free policy in a very unusual way."



Clearly, Southwest has been successful with the bags fly free policy, he says. "It's helped them gain one point of market share, which more than offsets the revenue that they would have earned by charging people to check bags," Harteveldt tells Marketing Daily. "So I think it's a net-positive business move for them."

A study by Forrester Research shows that 46% of travelers are allowing their budgets to dictate where they go on their vacation, and 49% of travelers say that they will accept a certain amount of inconvenience in order to save money, Harteveldt says.

"Travelers remain very tentative in their planning and buying behavior," he says. "Anything that an airline can do to communicate a value message will resonate with that traveler. I think that Southwest is continuing to do a very good job with that."

Southwest is one of the few airlines that is still using television on a national basis as well as spot, Harteveldt adds. "I think that Southwest wins here because they keep the brand in front of consumers' faces," he says. "In the ('Battle Cry' spot) there's a great line 'take my bag, not my money.' That says it all. It's a relevant commercial for today's very tough times."

The ads aim to highlight that Dallas-based Southwest is an airline that consistently provides a positive experience that keeps customers coming back, says a Southwest spokesperson. The "Grab Your Bag: It's On!" campaign launched last summer and continued into the fall with a heavy presence during football season.

1 comment about "Southwest Launches Seven New Spots ".
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  1. Michael Ferrare from Magma, March 16, 2010 at 5:11 a.m.

    Why 7 spots? Do we need that much TV that no one watches? They could have saved that money and added that value back into their product. Like extra pillows and other things that actually matter. Let's evolve.

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