Spirit Airlines Hops on New York Knick's Jeremy Lin Bandwagon in New Ad

Unheralded basketball hero Jeremy Lin who came out of nowhere – if you consider Harvard nowhere – is a marketing sensation if Spirit Airlines is any indication (and see our poll below on the focus of Spirit’s next marketing effort).

Spirit vs. U.S. – It’s War

‘Linsanely’ Low Fares Ad

A new advertisement on the low-cost carrier’s website now touts “Linsanely low fares” adding that they’ve arrived “just in the Knick of time.”

The ad continues, “Score BIG with fares so Linsanely low, you can afford them even if you’re living on your brother’s couch! Book now with slam dunk fares that will put your bench-warming days behind you!” Airfare prices are not listed alongside the ad.

Other Celebrities in Spirit Ads

Spirit has famously used other icons in the news to tout its cheap airfares but usually these celebrities are in the midst of scandal such as Tiger Woods during his marital difficulties (“Eye of the Tiger” sale) and more often than not, the ads border on the tasteless or plunge right into muddy waters.

Spirit Adds Another New Fee

Sex and Scandal in Spirit Ads

Politicians have been particular targets: Spirit highlighted the allegedly overzealous texting problems of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (“Have You Seen Our Weiner?” sale) and the conviction of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich (“Slammer Sale”).

As airfare analyst Rick Seaney put it, “Spirit really plays to their crowd,” adding “They sort of remind me of watching an episode of Benny Hill – nothing is off limits.”

Lin, in the midst of an incredible season on the court, is one of the rare instances of Spirit latching onto a celebrity on the way up.

Did Spirit Pay Lin?

One question being asked in the media is, did Spirit pay for the use of Lin’s name? The 23-year-old NBA star is no doubt being besieged with endorsement offers that will pay very big bucks for use of his name and likeness, and Spirit is not known for opening its wallet – after all, this is the only U.S. airline that charges a fee for a carryon bag – but Spirit has so far not responded to an email on this topic.

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Published: February 22, 2012