[Presentation] Can a campaign be too successful for its own good? Southwest Airlines finds out the hard way

Can a promotion, an offer or a social initiative ever be too successful? Instinctively, it would appear that the more successful a campaign is, the better. Let’s take, for example, an airline that has 3 million followers on Facebook and launches a discount code for its audience. It seems logical to assume that the “dream” outcome of every marketer would be seeing the page’s followers use the code in huge numbers as quickly as possible, right?


Well, yes… and no

It seems that it depends on how well your IT system can take it. Southwest Airlines recently discovered just how bad things can get when a campaign like this goes wrong. However, it also gave the world a perfect example of how a crisis situation can be successfully tackled on social media. What unfurled is a fascinating chain of events that provides a stellar case-study for any airline (or even airport) on social media.


Here’s our analysis of what happened

Marco Serusi

Marco Serusi

Senior Consultant at SimpliFlying
Marco is a Senior Consultant at SimpliFlying, and has worked on major client projects with the likes of LATAM Airlines, London Heathrow and Royal Brunei Airlines. He has also delivered training in airline Marketing strategy for over 100 executives globally and spoken at several aviation conferences worldwide. He is well known for his cutting edge research into the latest aviation marketing and social media trends.Marco is Italian but also speaks Spanish and English fluently and has lived in several countries including the UK, USA, Italy and Spain. He has been with SimpliFlying for over 3 years.and is based in Valencia, Spain. He is a subject matter expert and consultant on social media practice in aviation. He has contributed extensively to thought-leadership in this space as well as held training workshops for senior aviation executives on behalf of SimpliFlying. He advises clients globally on aviation marketing strategy.He’s Italian, but has lived in several countries since he was 18, earning an Air Transport degree in the UK, a pilot license in Florida and an MBA in Spain. He now lives in Valencia, Spain where he previously worked as a Marketing Director.You can talk to him in Italian, English or Spanish. You can also tweet him at @simplimarco, e-mail him at marco@simpliflying.com.
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