Why bother sending a boring promotional email to consumers when you can exploit someone’s humiliating, live-captured TV moment?
On Monday, discount carrier Spirit Airlines sent out a provocative email to its online subscriber base offering a promotional deal to those who need to get out of town. The hook? Miss Universe pageant runner-up Miss Colombia, who was winner of the pageant for about two minutes before having her crown literally taken away from her…on stage…on live television.
The advertisement mocks the now-viral final moments of Sunday night’s Miss Universe pageant, in which host Steve Harvey mistakenly named Miss Colombia the winner, when she was actually first runner-up to Miss Philippines. The ad reads:
The promotion then offers 75% off flights to Colombia’s biggest cities, including Cartagena, Armenia, Bogota and Medellin. Stay classy, Spirit Airlines.
Spirit doesn’t just stop there, though. The airline also resorts to third-grade humor by offering a Santa-themed promotion that tells travelers to “Check Out Santa’s Sack.” It’s exactly what you’re thinking.
This isn’t the first time the airline company has gotten attention for its shameless, often raunchy advertising ploys. In 2013, NPR noted how Spirit’s regularly used cheap “shock” marketing–a “M.I.L.F.” advertisement in one instance, a “Weiner Sale” in another, when the Anthony Weiner scandal was in full effect.
Perhaps most surprisingly, the widespread consumer hate for the airline seems to have little to do with its boorish, immature, and just plain dumb ads. Instead, travelers regularly rate Spirit poorly on customer satisfaction surveys largely because of how the airline nickel-and-dimes passengers with fees left and right.