Southwest Airlines (Finally) Selects a Shop

New agency to craft new brand positioning

Finally, there's a winner. Southwest Airlines has hired TBWA\Chiat\Day for a key creative assignment after a lengthy review.

The Omnicom Group shop's Playa del Rey, Calif. office will handle the business. Account revenue is estimated at $5 million.

The selection came nearly two months after four agencies presented creative ideas to a team of Southwest executives at their headquarters in Dallas. The other contenders were Arnold in Boston, Deutsch LA in Marina del Rey, Calif. and Leo Burnett in Chicago.

TBWA\C\D becomes part of a creative roster that includes GSD&M, Wunderman, VML and Dieste. The newcomer is tasked with forging a new strategic positioning for the airlines following its $1 billion acquisition of AirTran.

In making the hire, Southwest chief marketing officer Dave Ridley described TBWA\C\D as an "effective partner," adding, "As our business grows, we wanted to proactively add to our strategic and creative agency resources."

Southwest launched the review in February, with the goal of hiring an agency to produce—at least initially—a fall campaign. TBWA\C\D will have to move fast to meet that goal.

Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif. managed the review.

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