Horizon Air Takes on the Slog

Advertising, Horizon

While other airlines are waiting for tax relief to help their short haul flights thrive, Horizon Air has decided to go on the offensive with a great marketing campaign.

Short haul flights have struggled as airport security requirements have become more and more annoying and time consuming. People just don’t want to deal with the hassle of limiting liquids, waiting in long lines, and sitting in weather delays for a higher cost than just driving yourself, especially when the drive isn’t much longer than the flight.

You’d think that Horizon would be hit pretty hard with this shift, especially on their bread and butter route from Portland to Seattle – the Horizon Air Shuttle. The drive is 174 miles from downtown to downtown, so driving should be far easier than flying, but Horizon’s new campaign plays on the “horrors” you’ll find while driving through what they call The Slog.

07_09_10 The Slog

They have apparently channeled Ken Burns for this “documentary” (I still can’t get that music from The Civil War of my head) about the mythical drive on I-5 between Seattle and Portland. If you head to the site, you’ll see an overview video about why you should fly, but then they have short snippets on points along the way that’ll make you cringe. The beauty of this is that it talks about specific points on the drive that probably exist on every route around the country, so even if you don’t drive this particular route you’ll find the videos amusing.

There’s Ticketown – the speedtrap where all the tickets issued if lined end to end would stretch to Mars three times over. And don’t forget Filthy John’s Holler where the bathrooms are so dirty, possibly because the only mop there was lost decades ago. The worst? How about Crab Apple Flats – mile 95 where you lose one lane on the road and it results in horrible backups that test the wills of all who pass.

I can’t remember having driven this road myself, but I can certainly relate because they’re problems we all face somewhere. When they contrast this with Horizon’s half hourly flights that have now seen unrestricted fares lowered to $99 each way, those flights start to sound a lot better. In fact, I’ve got a driving trip to Vegas next weekend, and it’s made me cross my fingers for a last minute flight deal. (Not holding my breath)

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3 comments on “Horizon Air Takes on the Slog

  1. I am surprised you didn’t mention that the airline posted the wrong Web url for the campaign in its own press release!

  2. Now that’s funny. I hadn’t seen it, actually. Someone sent me the real link over the weekend so I never looked at the PR. That’s especially bad since all they have to do is set up a redirect to the actual URL.

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