[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

Former Director of Consulting at SimpliFlying
Marco Serusi was Consultant at SimpliFlying from November 2011 to January 2019 and has worked on major client projects with the likes of LATAM Airlines, London Heathrow and Airbus. He has also delivered training in digital aviation strategy for hundreds of executives globally and spoken at several aviation conferences worldwide. He is well known for his cutting-edge research into crisis communications and social media trends.
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