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Bus 340 - Southwest Airlines Case Study

Autor:   •  November 3, 2015  •  Research Paper  •  1,932 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,182 Views

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Cameron Chapman                                                                                 BUS 340

April 14, 2014                                                                                 Professor Frame

Southwest Airlines Case Study

1) Describe the various promotion elements that Southwest Airlines uses in its integrated marketing communications.

        When businesses want to communicate with their audience and target market, they will often use a promotion mix, providing four elements used to endorse their product or company. In the Southwest Airlines article, Southwest successfully used advertising, personal selling, public relations and sales promotion to gain market share and hold a prosperous IMC campaign.

        To demonstrate Southwest’s’ caring and fun culture, Southwest spent $249 million on advertising in 2011 alone. Although this number is high, advertising can be very cost-efficient if it leaves an impact on people and reaches a large audience. Southwest used primarily TV spots to advertise, being the most expensive form of advertisement however often yielding the largest reach. To promote its sense of humor and considerate attitude, Southwest launched its campaign stating, “ We Love Your Bags,” “Why do they hate your bags?” and “Grab your bag, it’s on! Although these expressions are simple, they help remind others about their bags-fly-free policy, allowing customers to bring up to two bags per flight. Along with addressing competitor’s expensive bag policy in these advertisements, Southwest also added their humorous culture into the mix by stating that other airlines’ policies were ‘ridiculous,’ yet theirs is ‘ridiculously awesome.”

        Southwest also uses personal selling to communicate to their market. Personal selling is an act of personal communication to individual customers, rather than advertising, which aims to seek a large target market. To celebrate its addition of flights to Las Vegas, Southwest hired a mock Elvis impersonator to sing to customers and get them to take their flights. This service not only serenaded individual flyers at the Manchester, NH airport, but reminded travelers about Southwest’s amusing and laid-back attitude.

        Public relations is also used in Southwest’s promotional mix. Public relations, aimed at pleasing stakeholders, can do so through the institution of socially responsible programs that give the company publicity, and thus will hopefully increase its sales through a new following of people. Southwest stresses that it has a positive impact in the communities it does business in. For example, Southwest implemented its “Adopt a Pilot” program, which allowed schools throughout the country to ‘adopt’ pilots and use them to volunteer at the school and mentor students. This program was able to bring publicity to Southwest by demonstrating that its employees not only care about their company, but also care to serve individuals. Just as importantly, this program pleases stakeholders, whom own shares of the company.


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