Southwest Wants You to Be More Productive

If you’ve been watching college football over the last few days, there’s a decent chance you’ve seen Southwest’s newest ad campaign that’s trying to get you to be more productive. Then again, you may have tuned it out as soon as it came on TV. This is a weird one.

I must admit, they’ve done a very elaborate job here. If you go to, you’ll see a big web-2.0y website with all kinds of ways to be more productive. The site is primarily filled with a bunch of videos showing our hero, Nick, the king of productivity. He never works nights and weekends, but he outperforms everyone.

Is it just me, or does Nick look a little familiar? Remember JetBlue’s poster boy for the new defunct Ohio service? He say on the homepage for a couple days when their new website launched in 2006. Hmm . . . .

Anyway, beyond Nick, we have a relatively lame attempt at generating user-generated content. They want people to go and offer their tips on how to be more productive. Um, no. Because as we all know, offering tips on being productive is about the LEAST productive thing you could be doing. (Two “tips” on the site already say just that.)

At least they aren’t filtering it like Delta did back when they launched their “change” website. How do I know? Well, I’m guessing this comment wouldn’t have made it through the censors:

Anybody who has worked two weeks in an office, already knows these things that are on this hokey site. Productivity is more of a product of company values, culture, and politics than anything else, most of which is out of the employee’s hands. If you were to violate the basic tips given on this site you probably wouldn’t be employeed [sic] long enough to worry about improving your productivity. Good luck……

Though they may not be censoring, it looks like they do have some plants in here. I’d say that John “Wrightington” isn’t really a disinterested party considering his quote:

driving all the way to DFW and then parking at a $17 per day open air parking space just to fly on an airline that doesn’t have any concept of customer service is a multip productivity blunder.

fly LOVE!

Hmm, I think you can get remote parking for $7 a day, and if you live in Ft Worth, Love Field is hardly a time saver. But hey, whatever. And that doesn’t really matter anyway. What does matter is that this site is just a waste of time. They’ve spent so much time on it, even putting advertising on this website linking to a fake site about the Annual Productivity Awards, but they haven’t really made anything compelling here. What’s the message? Fly Southwest and you’ll be more productive? Uh, ok. Why?

Oops, they forgot to talk about that. The only mention of Southwest is a tile in the header of each page saying that the site is brought to you by Southwest. I suppose the idea is to have people associate Southwest with productivity, but I’d think that it might be worth tying those things together. They’ve made a lot of changes in the last year, so it might be worth telling everyone why you improve productivity.

The obvious message is the “more frequent nonstop flights to more places” of course. But maybe they should talk about how you don’t have to line up to board anymore, so you don’t need to get there early. Or they could mention the USB and 110V power ports in the gate areas. I suppose they could even talk about Business Select, but hopefully they’d find a better way to do that than they’ve done so far.

Maybe I’m just looking at this campaign a little too early. Maybe this is all building up to a better tie-in to the airline. I really hope that’s the case, because so far I don’t see anything compelling.

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