Grabbed your attention, didn't we? Well, get your mind out of the gutter! This is not a blog about the "Mile High Club". But, Southwest Airlines is taking a page out of Donald Trump's, "Sex Sells" book with a 737-size image of Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Bar Refaeli on the side of one of its planes.
If nothing else, the "SI One" (short for Sports Illustrated One) is generating a lot of media buzz. But how will Southwest measure whether this marketing strategy is successful? If it's general media buzz, then it appears to be a home run. But, will it put people in the seats? I doubt it. Unless, of course flight attendants working on SI One (both male and female) will don beach attire. Um, on second thought, maybe that wouldn't be such a great sight.
This strategy could offend some potential customers too - many believe that such images only reinforce women as sex objects and nothing more.
I give Southwest (and its ad/pr firm) kudos for their creativity. But, if they were REALLY clever and creative, they would have put this swimsuit model's image on one side of the plane and combined it with an action shot of a female swimmer (e.g., Dara Torres, Amanda Beard) or soccer or tennis player on the plane's opposite side. Now, THAT would have been cool!!
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