Skift Take

After a terrible January for the airline, topped off by a brutal SNL skit, Alaska will likely use the Super Bowl ad to restore customer trust in its core markets.

Alaska Airlines has confirmed to Skift that it will launch a new advertising campaign during this weekend’s Super Bowl LVIII – and it comes just as the airline is trying to regain control of its messaging.

It has been a rough start to 2024 for the Seattle-based operator. On January 5, an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 suffered a dramatic blowout shortly after departure, prompting a nationwide grounding of the aircraft.

A parody commercial on Saturday Night Live on January 20 delivered a further huge knock to the brand. Stars including Hollywood actor Jacob Elordi ridiculed the airline in a savage two-minute skit. Along with the millions who watched the television broadcast, the clip has racked up more than three million views on YouTube.

Alaska’s West Coast Targets

With most of its planes back in the air, Alaska Airlines is trying to start February on a fresh footing. The company is using the Super Bowl to launch a major new campaign which will air before and during the big game. 

The ad will be focused on the carrier’s core West Coast markets, targeting viewers in Seattle, Portland, and San Diego.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Alaska has advertised during the Super Bowl. However, the return to such a high-profile platform so soon after the January incident is a bold move.

Start of a New Campaign

An Alaska Airlines spokesperson told Skift that the commercials will kick off a larger campaign for the company. There will be a single 30-second ad that airs during the game, with others broadcast around it. 

While the exact content of 2024’s commercial is not yet known, expect a reassuring focus on core brand values. Last year’s ad saw fashionista Tan France and TikTok star Nick Cho feature alongside Alaska Airlines employees under the tagline “We Care A Lot.”

To date, United Airlines is the only other U.S. carrier to confirm that it will advertise during the game. However, last week launched its own Super Bowl campaign, with Tina Fey and Glenn Close starring in a humorous series of big-budget ads.

Super Bowl LVIII takes place in Las Vegas on February 11, marking the first time the event has been held in Nevada. As Skift reported last week, travelers staying in the city can expect to pay the highest hotel room rates in the football championship’s history.

There are of course alternative ways to associate your business without the big price tag, as American Airlines recently discovered with Flight AA1989.


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Tags: 737 max 9, alaska airlines, american airlines, Boeing, las vegas, super bowl, super bowl commercials

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