Spirit Airlines Mocks the Oil Spill: Tasteless, or Brilliant Marketing Strategy?




Crisp sand. Gorgeous men and women lying out in the beach wearing next to nothing. Slimy oil coming in with the tide… Who’s ready for vacation in Florida?

Obviously, after the BP oil spill, tourism was somewhat lacking in the Ft. Lauderdale. Spirit Airlines is hoping to change this. In a recent tongue-in-cheek campaign, the airline ran an ad that features a woman sunning herself on a sandy white beach, holding a green and yellow lotion bottle with the words Best Protection. The caption reads, "Check out the oil on our beaches: Ft. Lauderdale."

Spirit Airlines Ad

Is it bad taste, or is it a cheeky marketing campaign?

On the one hand, there are close to no positives about the BP oil spill (except for the possibility of some job creation). It’s the biggest environmental disaster in US history. Attempts to stop the spill have so far all failed.

And let’s not forget the fact that 11 people lost their lives in the spill.

The oil spill is really not a laughing matter. Shame on Spirit Airlines for making light of this disaster for their own monetary gains!

But then, on the other hand…

The spill has also affected many industries. Fishing, of course. Even the wedding industry down in that area is affected; couples are forgoing hosting their nuptials on the beach (white wedding dresses and oil don’t really mix well). And, as mentioned earlier, tourism has been affected.

People who live in the Gulf area depend on those industries for their livelihood. No people coming in to eat in the restaurants and get married and visit the beaches means no money for them. So if the Spirit ad gets people down there, that’s money that’ll filter into the area that can definitely be used.

Plus the ad is sort of funny.

What are your thoughts? Did Spirit Airlines go too far, or are they just making the best of a bad situation?

By Jessica Livingston

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