by Donald Wood
Last updated: 7:00 PM ET, Wed March 18, 2015
Spirit Airlines cachet as a low-cost commercial carrier has continued to grow over the years along with its tendency to sneak in some sophomoric humor into its marketing. As an example, the company recently celebrated the acquisition of the 69th plane in its fleet by basing its ad campaign on sex jokes.
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The company ran an ad campaign on its official website that ended Tuesday night featuring $69 round-trip flights in April and May that included taxes and fees. The deal was popular enough to overload the company's website, but not everyone was thrilled by how Spirit marketed the offer.
Unfortunately, many found the advertising technique unacceptable, as Aaron Rupar of FoxTwinCities.com called the write-up "juvenile" and wondered if the Spirit website had been hacked.
Spirit spokesman N. Paul Berry reached out to Rupar and issued the following statement: "Spirit isn't your typical airline. In most cases, different means saving our customers a lot of money on their air travel. When it comes to advertising, different means we don't spend a lot of money on advertising - because that just increases fares. But we're also different because our ads are fun and often irreverent."
As seen from the reactions to the marketing strategy, though, it has garnered the company the mainstream attention it desired.
Spirit Airlines has since removed any mention of the $69 flight sex jokes from its website, but this isn't the first time the company has pulled a similar publicity stunt. From taking a jab at the nude celebrity photo scandal last year to making sexual puns about the New Year, the company has been known to take a provocative approach to marketing.
One of the target demographics for airlines now is younger travelers. While there will be many people offended by the advertising technique, the company was offering a cheap deal and trying to sell it using a campaign meant to go viral.
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