Brand Experience and Activation > Use of Promo & Activation

SOUTHWEST PORCH AT BRYANT PARK

CIVIC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, New York / SOUTHWEST AIRLINES / 2010

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Overview

Credits

Overview

ClientBriefOrObjective

Southwest Airlines entered the highly competitive New York City market in June 2009, with its first-ever flights out of LaGuardia (LGA).

Southwest offers best-in-class customer service and inexpensive fares. But New Yorkers were just not familiar with the brand and its unique personality.We believed that if New Yorkers could sample Southwest’s legendary hospitality and good humor without going to the airport, if we could bring the experience to business travelers rather than asking them to seek us out … then we’d have them hooked.

Implementation

We wanted to make Southwest an integral part of the neighborhood in midtown Manhattan, home to 550 major corporations.

So we built a porch and installed the world’s first “Outdoor Living Room” in a major city park – the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park, right in the heart of the NYC business district. A free “lounge” style seating area, complete with Adirondack chairs, rocking chairs and porch swings, a beverage/snack service by Tom Colicchio (Top Chef), and Southwest employees as hosts. The Porch is open to all New Yorkers and visitors to relax, read, or converse – no purchase required.

Outcome

•Ticket sales 35% higher than recent launches in other markets •Direct brand interaction with 125,200 Porch visitors in first six months – and counting•100 million media impressions – NY Times, US Weekly, NY Daily News, NY Post•“NYC’s Best New Outdoor Dining” – Food & Wine Magazine•Summer launch was so successful Southwest extended the Porch through 2011•Industry accolades: “Southwest gets it – you can’t build affinity with megaphones and street teams. But you can build it by inviting people to join you for drinks and conversation on a relaxing, country-style porch! ” (Cohn & Wolf)

Relevancy

With one gate and eight flights, Southwest couldn’t make a heavy marketing investment. But its NYC debut called for something big. Rather than traditional advertising, Southwest partnered with Bryant Park Corp. to “own” the SOUTHWEST CORNER of the Park and establish itself as a welcome neighbor to the 13,000 businesses and 325,000 business travelers in the Bryant Park area.

Since New Yorkers don’t have their own porches for socialising, Southwest built one for the City to share.

The Porch was Southwest’s ONLY marketing for its NYC launch. Brand awareness, loyalty and sales all hinged on the experiential strategy and execution.

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