Southwest Airlines has effectively used a variety of promotional elements in its integrated marketing communications, making it one of America’s largest airlines with 3,300 flights a day to 72 domestic cities. Southwest Airlines has used all four possible elements of the promotion mix: advertising, public relations, personal selling, and sales promotion, but has focused primarily on advertising and public relations to add value to the product offered to customers. Its focus on advertising and public relations is directly related to its large size and it’s nationwide reach. Also, advertising and public relations are the most cost-efficient methods of promotion, and an airline as large as Southwest is forced to have promotional elements that benefit from economies of scale.
Advertising: As one of the largest domestic airlines, Southwest Airlines has an enormous advertising budget to sustain its presence and increase its market share through focusing on the benefits of flying Southwest over its competitors. Southwest recognizes that flying is no longer a pleasurable experience for many customers, even on Southwest, historically a budget airline. Even though Southwest is often regarded as a no-frills airline, it still attempts to build goodwill from its customers based on its advertising. Of the $249 million it spent on advertising in 2011, Southwest Airlines is unique in that it does not sell additional ad space on the exterior of its aircraft. Many domestic airlines have begun selling aircraft exterior space as a way to increase revenue, but Southwest Airlines insists that it wants to keep its product and advertisi...
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...dentity as a budget-friendly airline that still has a human side – fun, caring, and conscientious – otherwise, it may fall onto the same ills of the rest of the airline industry.
Carey, Susan, and Jack Nicas. "United Continental, Southwest Report Higher Profits." The Wall Street Journal [New York] 23 Jan. 2014: n. pag. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
Nicas, Jack, and Susan Carey. "Southwest Airlines, Once a Brassy Upstart, Is Showing Its Age." The Wall Street Journal [New York] 1 Apr. 2014: n. pag. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
Nicas, Jack "As Southwest Goes Mainstream, Will Direct Flights Go Extinct?" The Wall Street
Journal [New York] n.d.: n. pag. 2 Apr. 2014. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
"Southwest Airlines" Hoovers.com. Hoover’s Inc, 12 Apr. 2014. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
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