Southwest Picks Consumer-Created Spot

CHICAGO The result of Southwest Airlines’ experiment to solicit advertising created by amateurs will be seen during an April telecast of the NBA playoffs.

The low-cost carrier leveraged its “Wanna get away” tagline by launching a contest with YouTube in December. The general public was urged to submit 20 seconds of awkward or embarrassing moments that, much like the scenarios featured in a TV effort created by GSD&M, Austin, Texas, would make anyone wish they could get to someplace else. More than 140 entries were reviewed by a panel of judges that selected a video created by Oklahoma City’s Brian Cates.

Cates, a member of Southwest’s Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program, produces videos for a local comedy troupe, The Skit Guys, who encouraged him to capture his “Wanna get away” moment for the contest. His moment featured a man who is nervous about telling a co-worker that he loves her. As he finally musters the courage to do so, she tells him she just got engaged.

“I actually wanted to ask a friend of mine out and at the same time she told me she was engaged,” said Cates, who also wins a weekend getaway for four to any Southwest vacation destination. “It wasn’t quite as dramatic as we made it seem, but it made for a funny commercial.

The winning video and the runners-up, determined by YouTube visitors, can be seen

Other brands have used ad concepts generated by the general public to drum up publicity for their campaign and to solidify the relationship between the brand and core loyalists, since they tend to be the participants. Doritos and the NFL ran Super Bowl ads based on ideas and content pitched by consumers, and MasterCard also aired a TV spot inspired by entries submitted to a contest by the public.