SkyHigh Marketing

Jennifer over at What’s Your Brand Mantra shares a very funny email she received from SkyHigh Airlines, the parody airline created by Alaska Airlines. It’s interesting to read about this today because just last night, my wife and I (both in marketing) were going nuts over the absolutely horrible ads on TV. Then, the SkyHigh Airlines commercial came on (if anyone knows of a link to these, please let me know) and it was like a breath of fresh air. Funny, well scripted, well acted and to the point. Actually, our only criticism was that the tone of the ad better fit with the brand image of Southwest Airlines (witty, fun-loving, goofy, etc.) and I wondered what airline focus group respondents would have said the ad was for if asked before showing them the Alaska Airlines tag at the end.

Also, the SkyHigh Airlines web site is one of the most elaborate marketing efforts I’ve seen. It has a functional online reservation system that returns adburde results and a suggestion form that randomly changes your complaints into happy-grams. Between online, email, TV and radio, this a campaign that’s well-rounded, on message and receiving the almighty buzz that we are all after. Here’s the email clipped from What’s Your Brand Mantra:

From The Desk Of Howard Barium Chairman and CEO, SkyHigh Airlines
May 1, 2004

Hello valued passenger or creditor!

I come to you with great news: SkyHigh is doing something!

Like many of you, I was surprised by recent reports of the alarming disparity in SkyHigh airlines seat pricing, one seat sometimes costing a thousand dollars more than the seat next to it.

Once I recovered from a wave of profit-induced dizziness, I was shocked. I immediately pledged to look into it after my golf game.

What I found was a computer system so slow and antiquated I had to give up on even getting my e-mail. I worked on it for hours until a clever young man pointed out I was typing things into the office microwave.

After that was cleared up, I realized that our fares are not random enough. Our consumers are in real danger of getting the same fare!

It was clear. SkyHigh needed to develop a proprietary random fare generator. One that is beyond reproach for randomness and corrupting human bias. One that gives us the ability to look consumers in the eye and say, “We have no idea how this happened.”

The solution? Trent, the pricing chicken.

Unlike Alaska Airlines and their Common Sense Fare initiative, Trent has very little initiative and does it pretty much for the feed. And common sense? Ever try talking to a chicken? On the other hand, I bet no one at Alaska can work a 10-key with their face.

While we are on the subject, Alaska is flaunting simplicity? Have you looked under the hood of your car, lately? Complexity is the future. It’s sad really. It’s like the confused Neanderthal throwing rocks at the moon to make the sun come back. Poor things. I wish them best of luck.

No, you don’t have to thank us. Our fares are random because random is only fair.

See this wonder of white meat we call Trent at www.skyhighlines.com.


Good stuff.