Southwest Airlines launches sweepstakes to promote revamped rewards program

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Southwest Airlines launched a sweepstakes on March 15 to promote its Rapid Rewards loyalty program. The company will give away 10 million rewards points to existing and new members through the sweepstakes.

One hundred members will each win 100,000 “Rapid Rewards Points.” Non-members can sign up for the loyalty program to become eligible to win.

“One of the objectives of this promotion is to drive new membership across all demographics,” said Chris Mainz, senior specialist in communications at Southwest. “But the promotion is also meant to reward current members.”

Southwest teamed up with basketball trick-shot artists Dude Perfect to create entertainment for consumers when they reach the promotion site. Dude Perfect filmed basketball trick shots using a Southwest Boeing 737 in a Southwest maintenance hangar and around the company's Dallas headquarters. The company will unveil one “big shot,” along with the sweepstakes winners, on April 4.

“We'd seen and heard about Dude Perfect, and we wanted to tie the promotion into the excitement surrounding the NCAA basketball tournament," said Mainz.

Southwest launched a revamped Rapid Rewards program on March 1. New program highlights include no blackout dates, seat restrictions or capacity controls, and points that don't expire as long as members earn by flying or using a partner once every 24 months.  

Wunderman, which helped Southwest revise the rewards program, was not involved with the sweepstakes.

Dig Communications provided both PR support and the original concept behind the campaign, said Mainz. Southwest conducted a formal RFP process with “a couple of agencies,” he added, but he declined to reveal the other firms involved.

Southwest is conducting no paid advertising or marketing to promote the sweepstakes. The company will conduct all outbound communications via Facebook, Twitter and the company website.

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