Southwest Screens Brand Image Ops

DALLAS As the third season of the A&E series Airline prepares to take off tonight, Southwest Airlines said it is looking for other opportunities to fly its brand onto prime-time programming.

“With the changing landscape of corporate advertising, brand integration is an innovative approach we are using to promote the Southwest product,” said Joyce Rogge, Southwest’s senior vice president of marketing. “We don’t expect brand integration to replace our advertising strategy, only complement it.”

Southwest has teamed up with Dr. Phil, the Wayne Brady Show and recently struck a deal with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the Dallas-based carrier said.

The third season of Airline, a half-hour reality program built around travelers on Southwest, airs in back-to-back episodes tonight at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. EDT on the A&E cable channel.

Rogge said Southwest screens all branded content proposals to make sure they fit the airline’s image.

“It is very important for us to be selective with the types of programs we choose to partner with,” said Rogge. “We are extremely protective of the Southwest brand, and we’re proud of the programs and relationships we have developed in this new arena.”

Southwest spent $152 million on advertising in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Omnicom Group’s GSD&M in Austin, Texas, handles ad duties for the client.