Posts Tagged ‘Spirit Airlines’

Spirit Air’s Offensive Ad Campaign Is My Fault!

June 28, 2010

At long last, Spirit Air suspended their offensive ad campaign which capitalized on the BP oil spill.  Granted the ad went down with a screaming hissy fit, but hey.

Evidently Spirit decided, without my approval, that I didn’t get it.  According to them, this ad campaign was nothing more than a well-intentioned attempt to explain how the beaches they service are not impacted by the oil spill, and my inability to comprehend this is my responsibility.

Don’t believe me?  Here’s what Spirit said in a statement:

“It is unfortunate that some have misunderstood our intention with today’s beach promotion. We are merely addressing the false perception that we have oil on our beaches, and we are encouraging customers to support Florida and our other beach destinations by continuing to travel to these hot vacation spots.”


Yo, Spirit Air, come a little closer.

No, a little closer.

Okay, now lean in.

I have a secret I need to whisper into your ear.

You ready?

Here it goes:


I’ve said previously that good communications cannot replace good decision-making.  How lucky we are to have examples of bad decision-making and bad communications – all in one company!  It’s like a learning laboratory for how to not run a business with Spirit Air, no?


Spirit Airlines — Doubling Down on The Stupid

June 23, 2010

Evidently Spirit Airlines has doubled-down on a really stupid idea.

For the uninitiated, Spirit Airlines is attempting to capitalize BP’s oil spill by running ads depicting the beaches they service as full of oil-soaked women, not crude oil gushing from deep beneath the earth’s surface.  Hardy har har.  One disgruntled person wrote to Spirit and got the following response:

Thanks for writing to Spirit Airlines, and for your feedback about our new marketing campaign.It is unfortunate that some have misunderstood our intention with this sale. We are merely addressing the false perception we have oil on the many beaches we service, and we are encouraging customers to support Florida and our other beach destinations by continuing to travel to these vacation hot spots.

Please accept my apology if you find this campaign offensive. It is certainly not our intent to offend our valued customers. We’ve actually received positive feedback from many who appreciate our efforts to stimulate travel to the state.

I’ve forwarded your incident to our Marketing Department for further review.

Again, thank you for your feedback. We look forward to welcoming you aboard!

Shorter Spirit Airlines:  You’re not as funny or clever as we are, and that’s your fault!

If I may get on my soap box for a moment, I’d like you to highlight one point in this response:  “I’ve forwarded your incident to our Marketing Department for further review.”  Oy vey.

Too often, as in this case, communications is not considered to be an integral part of a company’s business strategy, leading to disastrous results like this.  Leaving comms out of the decision-making process is a huge mistake, and yet it is so common.  A company that communicates well has everyone on board, and on the same page, from the very beginning so there would be no need to forward “your incident to our Marketing Department for further review.”  Once more, Corporate America:  Communications decisions are ultimately business decisions and should be treated accordingly.

This ad campaign should have never been green-lighted.  Let’s hope cooler, saner heads prevail and this ad campaign gets squashed.  Sadly for Spirit Air, that doesn’t seem likely to happen.

As a side note, the most commonly used word in their response is “Feedback”.  In fact, they use the word three times in five short paragraphs.  Don’t you think they should emphasize things such as “Concerns” and “Service” instead of something as dry and emotionless as “Feedback”?  Yeesh.

Using the Oil Catastrophe to Promote Vacations – Not a Good Idea

June 22, 2010

This blog post isn’t about BP directly.  Rather, it’s Spirit Airlines‘ attempt to capitalize on the ongoing oil spill by running ads saying, “Check Out the Oil on Our Beaches.”  Their message:  the only oil you will find on the beaches we fly to are on scantily-clad, sunbathing women.  They are calling this their “Best Protection” plan (emphasis definitely theirs) with a green and yellow-colored bottle of “SPF $50 off” lotion to directly capitalize off of BP’s huge, enormous, catastrophic error.

Not too subtle.  And not too smart either.

Let’s forget for a moment how deeply offensive, cynical and sexist this campaign is.  And let’s forget for the moment the immense harm done to the residents of the oil-soaked Gulf Coast and the wildlife – a catastrophe that still hasn’t even been slowed down much less solved, by the way.  And let’s forget that the entire food chain in the Gulf of Mexico, and possibly the entire world, could have been irrevocably harmed.  And let’s forget, again just for a moment, the people who lost their lives on the oil rig during the initial explosion.

This advertisement is a colossally stupid idea for one simple reason:  what if this leak, or heaven forbid a different one, ends up harming one of Spirit Airlines’ destinations?  What will they do then?  >Knock Knock< Hello, Spirit Airlines!  Anybody home?

Okay, now let’s get back to this cynical campaign, the decimated livelihoods, damaged food chains and the terrible loss of life.  I personally believe their brand will, and should, suffer for this callous, insensitive and offensive ad campaign.  Not all publicity is good publicity folks.

Boy, talk about stupid decisions.