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Ad of the Day: Southwest Airlines


TBWA\Chiat\Day's first brand image ad for Southwest Airlines since winning the assignment way back in July 2012 feels big, yet also down to earth.

The bigness—a change of tone for a carrier known for its more playful side—comes in the form of a series of trailing shots of a pilot, a basketball player, a ballerina and a corporate executive, each about to enter his or her given "arena"—be it a court, dance floor or boardroom. But just as you think, "Oh man, here comes another over-the-top paean to an industry rife with problems," the imagery softens to include a surfer, a farmer and baby standing. That's what makes this ad feel relatable.

Music also lightens up the message, with the sing-song chorus of fun.'s "Some Nights" driving the action.

Ultimately, the imagery shifts to smiling airline employees—a standard cliché of airline advertising, no doubt—but the voiceover message is less "We're the greatest" and more "We work really, really hard." Also, the employees in the end nod their heads to the side, as if to invite you aboard. Again, this is not an oversell but rather an ethos that weary travelers may appreciate—that is, if they arrive on time and their bags aren't lost.

The ad, which was directed by BRW USA's Erik Van Wyk and breaks today, is the first of some 10 national and local market spots that will roll out in the next two weeks.

Client: Southwest Airlines

Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day

Chief Creative Officer: John Norman
Group Creative Director: Gage Glegg
Creative Director: Scott Brown
Associate Creative Director: Lauren Smith
Copywriter: Omeed Boghraty
Art Directors: Rebecca Ginos, Caroline O'Hare

Executive Director of Integrated Production: Richard O'Neill
Producers: Richard O'Neill, Micah Kawaguchi-Ailetcher
Director of Business Affairs: Linda Daubson
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Jill Durand
Group Planning Director: Rad Tollett
Planning Director: Amanda Reid
Account Planner: Whitney Martinez
Group Account Director: Stan Fiorito
Account Director: Chris Asahara
Account Supervisor: Eneida Mejia
Account Executive: Nicole Stokman
Account Group Assistant: Kayla Laufer
Traffic Manager: Nadzyah Guillermo

Production Company: BRW USA
Director: Erik Van Wyk
Executive Producers, Partners: Gianfilippo Pedrotti, Michele Nocchi
Producer: Ari Weiner

Director of Photography: Sebastian Wintero
Editorial Company: Venice Beach Editorial
Executive Producer: Hunter Conner
Editors: Peter Smith, Don Andrews
Assistant Editor: Neil Jariwala
Assistant Post Producer: Orlee Klempner

Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors
Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Weaver
Editor: Adam Pertofsky

Post Effects: MPC
Lead Smoke Artist: Mark Holden
Smoke Artist: Rob Ufer
Nuke: Ben Persons, Elliott Brennan, Jason Heinze
Producer: Abi Adejare
Executive Producer: Asher Edwards
Creative Director: Paul Oshea

Final Mix: Play Studio
Mixer: John Bolan

Mix Producer: Lauren Cascio

Licensed Music for National TV Spots:
"Some Nights"
Writers: Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker
Artist: fun.
Record Label: Rhino Entertainment/Warner Music Group

Original Music for Local TV Spots:
Executive Producer: Scott Cymbala
Head of Production: Jessica Entner
Creative Director: Tim Adams
Composer: Ryan Rehm
Engineers: Tim Adams, Ryan Rehm

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