What Not To Do for an Ad: The Weiner Rises Again


Wow, Spirit Airlines really got it wrong with this campaign. When I saw this email come across, I had to stop and see if it was real. I’m sure that’s exactly why they did it, to create buzz, but this is a negative association they should have avoided.

It was bad enough the first time, but for news to come out that Anthony Weiner was again caught sending lewd photos of himself to another woman besides his wife, was just shocking. Spirit Airlines is trying to turn heads and get people to notice their promotions. Not only is the association bad, but then they add horrible, fake quotes that are just rude. Then, they push it way too far and add an offensive phallic hot dog image.

Last I heard, Spirit wasn’t on the top of the list for airline picks. On a quick search of comments about this airline, their reviews were at 1-1.5 out of 5 stars. Maybe it’s because they’re a budget airline. But look at Southwest and JetBlue, both with 4 out of 5 stars. Yes, a budget airline WITH great service does exist. Maybe Spirit can model themselves after the leaders in the industry instead of trying to be provocative. Yes, one of my 7 Secrets of Branding is Make it Fun & Sexy. The Weiner Rises Again campaign is not what I meant by sexy. When Spirit is already hurting with awful reviews, using a public figure with tons of negative publicity is not going to get more business.

Spirit Airlines gets my vote for Brand Chump, and to think, this was intentional.

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