GSD&M, Southwest Airlines Still ‘Wanna Get Away’

By Erik Oster 

GSD&M revives the “Wanna Get Away” concept/tagline it developed for Southwest Airlines in 1998 and ran with for about a decade in its new campaign for the airline. 

The 30-second “Secret Identity” reintroduces the concept via an undercover organized crime informant giving a live interview. He makes sure his face isn’t seen by the camera by remaining in the dark, but things go predictably and embarrassingly awry.

The formula still works thanks to its flexibility and relatability. Some of the same creatives who contributed to the original campaign helped with the revival, which seems ripe for plenty of new executions. “Wanna Get Away” never compltely went way, though. As Adweek points out, the brand has used the line to promote its lowest fares even in recent years and “#WannaGetAway” has been used in conjunction with the brand on social media. It’s almost a wonder it took them this long to officially bring it back as a tagline driving its advertising, given its inherent possibilities. The new spot is certainly more memorable than last April’s “Garage Band.”

“It’s an idea with a ton of brand equity,” Lara Bridger, GSD&M group creative director told Adweek. “Most people will think it never left. The idea is based in a human truth—wanna-get-away moments—so there’s really no wrong time for this campaign. What’s really great about bringing back ‘Wanna Get Away’ now is that we can truly embrace the social element.”


The brand does just that with its #WannaGetAwayIsland contest in collaboration with Home Away, which invites people to share their own “#WannaGetAway” moments on social media for a chance to win a free trip to an island off the coast of Belize, among other prizes. Additionally, the campaign includes a CBS Sports component with fans sharing their embarassing “Wanna Get Away Football Moments.”


Client: Southwest Airlines
Spot Title: “Secret Identity”

Agency: GSD&M
Chief Creative Officer: Jay Russell
Group Creative Directors: Scott Brewer, Ryan Carroll, Lara Bridger, Rafa Serrano
Art Directors: James Hoke, Gus Solis
Writers: Rusty Broome, Laura Canzano
Director of Production: Jack Epsteen
Executive Producer: Marianne Newton
Senior Producer: Alison Wagner
Account Service: Shawn Mackoff, Amy Lyon, Amy Rodgers, Meredith Nagel, Ana Leen
Marketplace Planning:  Jennifer Billiot
Business Affairs Manager: Desiree Townsend
Project Manager: Elizabeth Stelling

Production Company: O Positive
Director: Brian Billow
EP: Ralph Laucella
Producer: Devon Clark
DP: Mauro Fiore
Editor: Jay Nelson/Cut+Run
Assistant Editor: Nick Kondylas
EP: Bebe Baldwin
Stylist: Laura Eckert

Music: Hum