Influencer Relations

Announcing an Unconventional Brand in an Unconventional Way

Spirit Airlines Kansas City Launch

More than two million
earned media impressions
Increase
in net promoter score
Shout out
on Twitter by the brand's biggest competitor

Challenge

Spirit is unlike other airlines. Spirit has a stripped down, a la carte air travel business model. This model is perfect for those who want to fly for less and know the deal, but can be polarizing and frustrating for customers expecting legacy airline perks. To reset expectations and educate customers on a different way to fly, Spirit rebranded and launched its “Bare Fare” Campaign in 2014. With aggressive growth planned in existing markets and new markets over the next decade, the Kansas City market launch acted as a testing ground for the recent Spirit brand overhaul. It gave us an opportunity to see how the Bare Fare resonated with fresh consumers.

Solution

Realizing that Kansas City media didn’t understand anything about Spirit’s Bare Fare model, we needed to be able to capture their attention in a buzz-worthy way. Working with our internal agency partner Barkley, we had minimal spend and needed to announce our arrival at the airport in an unconventional manner, garner traditional media and educate the market on Spirit’s Bare Fares. The obvious answer was a crop circle. An unbranded crop circle appeared near the Kansas City airport in the shape of Spirit’s “Bare Fare” logo. Our strategy was to let social buzz around this unique and massive image elevate to local media and we would be ready to jump in quickly to answer their questions about who and what this unexpected image was about. This opened the door to provide far more educational messaging than a typical media announcement. We set-up one-on-one deskside meetings and invited media and influencer to an airport event during Spirit’s inaugural Kansas City flight to further spread the word about Spirit’s ultra-low fares.

Results

The targeted approach to allow media to “discover” the crop circle fueled two million earned impressions in Kansas City and beyond. The result was an increase in Spirit’s Net Promoter Score, a significant achievement for a brand working to change perceptions and gain new, educated customers.