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Spirit Air Strips Actors Bare to Make a Point About Its Fees

@SamShankman

May 07, 2014 11:19 am

Skift Take

Spirit set out to clear the air on exactly what it offers and why and it does so in the airline’s own unique style. But a clever Vimeo video and landing page won’t be enough to quickly change American flyers’ perception of their flights.

— Samantha Shankman

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Spirit Airlines

A graphic from Spirit Airlines' new ad campaign. Spirit Airlines


When Spirit Airlines‘ CEO Ben Baldanza talked about plans to educate flyers on how their fees and fares work, we said we couldn’t wait to see what the previously provocative airline created.

Now we know and it’s a mix of nudity, rhymes, and antler-wearing hippies.

The ultra low-cost carrier today rolled out a new logo, website, and video campaign all aimed at making the airline look more fun than frustrating and more clever than conniving.

The airline refers to its base fares as “bare fares” and the ability to pay for amenities from bags to water bottles as “frill control.”

It makes the concept of fuel costs easier to understand by referring to its planes as a “fit fleet” and somehow tries to convince flyers that its cramped seating is actually “cozy.”

The landing page for spirit.com/101 also includes eight insights into how Spirit’s fares work.

Videos Toe Line Between Crass, Comedy

Spirit’s video ads are unlike any other airlines’ ads that we’ve watched before.

Spirit gets an attractive male and woman to strip down to their underwear to prove just how much flyers can fit into the one bag that Spirit allows on for free.

This is smaller than the traditional carry-on and the displayed yellow box (below) makes it hard for viewers to compare it to a bag that they might actually own. This isn’t the only time Spirit is characteristically confusing while it’s trying to clarify its model.

Two of the ads talk about “Theresa” and “Jack” traveling to Cabo and Minneapolis for weekend events and then advertise one-way fares for prices as low as $69.

It’s deceiving to advertise a one-way fare for a trip that is obviously roundtrip, and that it does so in this “educational” ad campaign gets at the heart of what people don’t like about Spirit.

Watch Spirit’s new video ads below:

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