Oh, Spirit. It’s not enough that your CEO is flirting with the idea of calling the carrier the Dollar Store of the Sky. You keep running those zany, snarky ads of yours.
The latest skewers Yankee player Alex Rodriguez, better known as A-Rod.
A-Rod’s Turn on the Spirit Hot Seat
The ball player’s turn came after a Miami paper linked him to a clinic that allegedly sold performance-enhancing drugs, or PEDs (Rodriguez denied involvement). Florida-based Spirit then capitalized on the headlines with an ad proclaiming “Improve Your Travel Performance with our PEDs!” which they translated as “price extravaganza deals” (see above, right).
It also notes that travelers will have “A-Rodiculously good time” while another ad shows a bikini-clad woman holding a bat with a 13 on it which USA Today notes helpfully is “A-Rod’s jersey number” (see below).
Other Sports Idols Get Spirit Treatment
A-Rod is hardly the first sports star to get the Spirit treatment. Tiger Woods may have been the pioneer back in 2009 when Spirit spoofed his marriage troubles in the airline’s “Eye of the Tiger” campaign. Not all ads are mean, though – former Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin who seemed to come out of nowhere got an admiring ad from Spirit. But politicians get routinely slammed.
Last year, Spirit entertained us with an ad playing off Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s controversial comment about “binders full of women” and pointing to its own binders full of sales. Earlier in the campaign, then-contender Herman Cain got the treatment over his 9-9-9 tax plan which Spirit neatly incorporated into its own famous $9 airfares (which haven’t cost nine bucks for some time now). But if you think politicians have it tough, you should see what Spirit has said about women over the years.
Spirit’s Sexy Ads
Let’s just say Spirit ads in the past have included what many viewed as sexist references to Double Ds (supposedly: deep discounts) and MILFs (supposedly: many islands, low fares), ads so over-the-top that the airline’s own flight attendants began expressing outrage. In fairness to Spirit, we haven’t seen such overt ads in years, but then again, Spirit continues to feature women in bikinis.