Keeping It Classy: Spirit Airlines Uses Nude Celeb Pic Scandal to Sell Tickets
Spirit Airlines is notorious for four things: Dirt-cheap fares, cramped seats, no free water, and bottom of the barrel ad campaigns. And, now, in keeping with its classy corporate spirit, the ultra-cheap airline is cashing in on leaked nudie celeb selfies.
Yeah, those ones. The racy .jpgs spurting out all over the interwebs thanks to sleazy cyber pervs (or maybe just one weird loner) who hacked into the Apple accounts of Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna, Kate Upton and who knows how many other high-profile celebrities.
If you’re lucky enough to be on Spirit Airlines’ email marketing (er, sexy spam) list, you know exactly what we’re talking about -- the cheeky “Our Selfie Leaked Too…” email that littered your inbox earlier today, the highlight of your morning. The message playfully poked fun at the naked news of late. Ah, yes, because it dovetails ever so seamlessly with Spirit’s lovely #BareFares campaign, the risqué commercial for which features a young “lady” named "Theresa" stripping down to her skivvies and bra while “packing light” for a $99 bare-fared flight.
“We feel naked, you were never supposed to see this Bare Fare!” the nervy email dispatch read. “It was meant for a special someone (who isn’t you). Now it’s all over the Internet for you to take advantage of as you see fit. Scandalous!”
Speaking of taking advantage, the airline went on: “We thought the cloud was our friend, y’know, because we spend so much time flying with ‘em. But now our private prices are on display! Bad for us; GREAT for you.”
An illustration of a busty woman clutching her naked chest appears above the text of the email. Thankfully it didn’t feature an actual leaked selfie of a celebrity in her birthday suit. Spirit’s not that spirited.
Not amused with Spirit’s fun little play on Apple’s naked and famous disgrace? Predictably, not everyone is, as evidenced by a continuous outpouring of venomous response tweets making the rounds. Our favorite in the bunch is an exquisitely articulate extended “Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo” tweet. Yep, that about covers it.
As for Spirit’s own tweet on the #BareFare campaign, you won’t find it. It’s already history. Gee, we wonder why.
Offended? Oh, but you shouldn’t be. After all, the marketing campaign was “not meant to be offensive," Spirit Airlines spokesperson Paul Berry told Entrepreneur.com. “We have a long history of taking major national news stories and tying them to our marketing. Most people think they are funny and accept them for what they are. We accept that a small group of people might not think the same way.” He also said that Spirit has taken the naked selfie tie-in Bare Fare ad off of its website.
We want to hear from you? Do you think Spirit Airlines is going too far? Are you offended by its latest sexy marketing tactic or is it perfectly acceptable? Let us know in the comments below.
Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here.