Southwest Looks to Land Road Warriors

NEW YORK Using its usual tongue-in-cheek humor, Southwest Airlines’ new campaign seeks to lure business travelers with the message that its airline will make them more productive. The work debuts during next month’s NCAA Bowl Championship Series.

In a bid to win more fares from road warriors, Southwest last month unveiled Business Select. Passengers who pay $10 to $30 more one-way get first boarding privileges, a free drink and bonus credit in the Rapid Reward frequent-flyer program.

Southwest also is upgrading its airport gates during the first quarter by installing padded seats, work areas where laptop users can plug into USB ports and electrical outlets, and TV monitors that post which passenger groups are boarding.

As the official airline of the BCS, Southwest will air spots during the Rose Bowl presented by Citi and the Allstate Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day. The airline also purchased airtime on the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2 and the FedEx Orange Bowl on Jan. 3, where it is also sponsoring the halftime show featuring ZZ Top.

The BCS sponsorship concludes with the national championship contest between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the LSU Tigers in the Allstate BCS Championship Game on Jan. 7.

Omnicom’s GSD&M Idea City, Austin, Texas, is the lead agency.

Client measured media spending was $180 million last year and $100 million from January through September, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.