Ad of the Day: Southwest Airlines

Known for its playful side, the carrier crafts a grander brand message through TBWA\Chiat\Day

TBWA\Chiat\Day's first brand image ad for Southwest Airlines since winning the assignment way back in July 2012 feels big, yet also down to earth.

The bigness—a change of tone for a carrier known for its more playful side—comes in the form of a series of trailing shots of a pilot, a basketball player, a ballerina and a corporate executive, each about to enter his or her given "arena"—be it a court, dance floor or boardroom. But just as you think, "Oh man, here comes another over-the-top paean to an industry rife with problems," the imagery softens to include a surfer, a farmer and baby standing. That's what makes this ad feel relatable.

Music also lightens up the message, with the sing-song chorus of fun.'s "Some Nights" driving the action.

Ultimately, the imagery shifts to smiling airline employees—a standard cliché of airline advertising, no doubt—but the voiceover message is less "We're the greatest" and more "We work really, really hard." Also, the employees in the end nod their heads to the side, as if to invite you aboard. Again, this is not an oversell but rather an ethos that weary travelers may appreciate—that is, if they arrive on time and their bags aren't lost.

The ad, which was directed by BRW USA's Erik Van Wyk and breaks today, is the first of some 10 national and local market spots that will roll out in the next two weeks.


Client: Southwest Airlines

Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day

Chief Creative Officer: John Norman

Group Creative Director: Gage Glegg

Creative Director: Scott Brown

Associate Creative Director: Lauren Smith

Copywriter: Omeed Boghraty

Art Directors: Rebecca Ginos, Caroline O'Hare

Executive Director of Integrated Production: Richard O'Neill

Producers: Richard O'Neill, Micah Kawaguchi-Ailetcher

Director of Business Affairs: Linda Daubson

Senior Business Affairs Manager: Jill Durand

Group Planning Director: Rad Tollett

Planning Director: Amanda Reid

Account Planner: Whitney Martinez

Group Account Director: Stan Fiorito

Account Director: Chris Asahara

Account Supervisor: Eneida Mejia

Account Executive: Nicole Stokman

Account Group Assistant: Kayla Laufer

Traffic Manager: Nadzyah Guillermo

Production Company: BRW USA

Director: Erik Van Wyk

Executive Producers, Partners: Gianfilippo Pedrotti, Michele Nocchi

Producer: Ari Weiner

Director of Photography: Sebastian Wintero

Editorial Company: Venice Beach Editorial

Executive Producer: Hunter Conner

Editors: Peter Smith, Don Andrews

Assistant Editor: Neil Jariwala

Assistant Post Producer: Orlee Klempner

Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors

Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Weaver

Editor: Adam Pertofsky

Post Effects: MPC

Lead Smoke Artist: Mark Holden

Smoke Artist: Rob Ufer

Nuke: Ben Persons, Elliott Brennan, Jason Heinze

Producer: Abi Adejare

Executive Producer: Asher Edwards

Creative Director: Paul Oshea

Final Mix: Play Studio

Mixer: John Bolan

Mix Producer: Lauren Cascio

Licensed Music for National TV Spots:

"Some Nights"

Writers: Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker

Artist: fun.

Record Label: Rhino Entertainment/Warner Music Group

Original Music for Local TV Spots:


Executive Producer: Scott Cymbala

Head of Production: Jessica Entner

Creative Director: Tim Adams

Composer: Ryan Rehm

Engineers: Tim Adams, Ryan Rehm