June 2021 is Southwest Airlines’ 50th Anniversary! To celebrate, Southwest asked for ideas to engage both customers and employees in an attention-grabbing crescendo.
Using the approved 50th Anniversary branding, we were asked to develop concepts for a month-long engagement or “consumer engagement effort” that was effective in getting Customers excited about Southwest’s anniversary.
The efforts were expected to increase Customer enthusiasm and involvement as well as increase Employee pride and participation. Overall, this was an opportunity to create Momentum for Southwest.
Through the month of June, we celebrated the lead-up to #WannaGetAwayDay with exciting sweepstakes prizes, in-airport surprise and delight moments, and building buzz on social, reaching a crescendo on July 18, and sustaining the buzz for the rest of the month through influencers and social engagements.
Our goal was to develop an extended month-long anniversary celebration engagement program to create momentum for Southwest. The program had 2 fold objectives, getting consumers excited about Southwest's 50th anniversary and traveling again, while also increasing employee pride and participation.
A 4-phase, month-long program to drive buzz around Southwest’s birthday month and maximize the impact of Wanna Get Away Day beyond our existing audiences. Our phased approach consisted of announcing, engaging, celebrating and sustaining.
We kicked off the month-long celebration with our "Announce" phase on June 1st with a manifesto video about the importance of getting away which was shared on Southwest's site and social channels.
The next phase was to "engage" audiences from June 1st - June 17th. This phase consisted of the launch of the Wanna Get Away Day Microsite which gave guests a chance to win prizes each day and gave guests an insight into Southwest's history. During this phase, we also created in-gate pop-up activities to celebrate flyers and push them towards our microsite.
On June 18th we followed up with our "celebrate" phase to celebrate Southwest's 50th birthday in an extravagant way. We upgraded our microsite prizes to include over 50m Rapid Reward points, 50 getaways, and 50 companion passes. We didn't just celebrate digitally, our team expanded the celebration to airports and even to the sky where we offered free in-flight Wi-Fi, gifts, and Live at 35 performances. We positioned Heart Carts throughout airports and surprised flyers at baggage claims; a huge baggage claim takeover activation where we gave away gift boxes highlighting key destinations.
Our fourth phase, "sustain" saw us sharing posts on social and web of our guests' experiences, sharing stories from planned getaways and our own in-airport experiences. We also supported our message with social amplification, influencers, and earned media to keep our message and experience in front of consumers eyes.
On Wanna Get Away Day, we celebrated the freedom to travel -- thanking our customers for choosing us for 50 years and rewarding them with incredible deals and sweepstakes prizes, helping them plan their next getaway.
Wanna Get Away Day was also a day-long social media blitz, highlighting all types of getaways, engaging with our audience and surprising & delighting them with chances to earn exciting travel prizes. Last but not least, we made things official by registering June 18 as Wanna Get Away Day with the National Day Calendar committee.
Through the month of June, we celebrated the lead up to #WannaGetAwayDay with exciting sweepstakes prizes, in-airport surprise & delight moments, and building buzz on social, reaching a crescendo on July 18, and sustaining the buzz for the rest of the month through influencers and social engagements.
All of this was brought to life through a 4-phase, month-long program to drive buzz around Southwest’s birthday month and maximize the impact of Wanna Get Away Day beyond our existing audiences.
After a month-long campaign that fused together digital, social, and experiential, our team was able to post over 24.9MM earned impressions and over 1.1MM earned engagements. Our microsite saw 3.6MM visits, 20.8k clicks to SW.com, and 3MM sweepstakes entries with 158.2k of those entries resulting in wins for our guests.
Through partnering with 11 macro and 75 micro-influencers to extend our content reach, we garnered nearly 25MM earned impressions.
Apart from the digital experience we curated on June 18th, after surprising travelers with a baggage claim experience, over 800 birthday presents circled the carousel for travelers to step up and claim, generating excitement among travelers.
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