Ah yes… Yet another mildly hilarious social media mistake in the books. But this time I find myself wondering how in the world did this happen? Why in the world would they want this to happen? What team of Spirit Airlines employees worked together for months putting together this campaign? Essentially, the low-cost airline carrier informed customers of a promotion, which celebrated the addition of their 69th airplane and offered flights for $69. No… this was no mistake. This was no team of naive corporate executives who were culturally uninformed. This deal was real and the team even made that obvious by recalling a moment from their childhood when they “found that magazine under our brother’s bed. A section of the announcement was as follows…
Now, after making this shockingly bold move, the company certainly received A LOT of publicity and A LOT of laughs. A couple Twitter users claimed it was “the BEST airline company around” and made punny and allusive jokes. However, do you really want to run a campaign that will make your company seem like a joke? In my opinion, I’m all for sparking some laughter and being creative with campaigns, but I think it looks much better for the company to create classier and more intellectual humor than a joke that a middle-schooler could have made. Amidst the laughs, some Twitter users claimed the company had “gone too far” with the campaign and were disgusted by it.
And even after all of the praise and, alternatively, all of the ridicule, the CEO didn’t take the ordeal very seriously, but rather as a big joke, appearing in a video produced by the airline where he was interviewed with a puppet. The video had more to do with general complaints rather than in regards to this particular campaign, but was released just a day after the company began the offering. However, the video does offer some fair points, explaining how the airlines sole purpose is low-cost flights, not high-quality experiences. Paul Berry, a spokesman for the company, explained that “Spirit isn’t your typical airline and we don’t want to be. We enjoy being different than other airlines”. One could argue that Spirit was being authentic with the offering and staying true to their values of individuality and humor. I will say, some of their videos do make me laugh.
At the end of the day, if Spirit Airlines (@SpiritAirlines if you want to check them out on social media) was trying to use this campaign to promote their brand, then yes, it might have gotten them some extra brand recognition. However, it does not change the fact that the company has terribly low-quality customer experience. If you search #SpiritAirlines on Twitter, several complaints crowd the feed, with customers claiming they are experiencing “eternal frustration” and that they “#shouldajustshippedmybodyonfedex”.
To put a cherry on top of this post, the “promotion” ACTUALLY ends up costing around $130 after joining the $9 Fare Club, and that doesn’t even include any checked baggage. Perhaps Spirit should invest some of their time into improving the experience rather than on a promotion for #69 airplanes.