When hackers stole and leaked privately stored nude photos of female celebrities over the weekend, the Internet’s reaction was swift and varied, from juvenile joking to outright misogyny to thoughtful analysis of the act as a sex crime.
Apparently Spirit Airlines, officially the most hated airline in America, felt left out. Someone on their digital marketing team put two and two together that the company’s already existing promotion, the “Bare Fare,” could gain some mileage (sorry) from this naked-centric news event, and sent out this tacky tweet:
The airline also sent an email to its customers with a sketch of its nude “selfie” and this copy:
Our Bare Fare Was Leaked!
We feel naked; you were never supposed to see this Bare Fare! It was meant for a special someone (who isn’t you). Now it’s all over the internet for you to take advantage of as you see fit. Scandalous! We thought the cloud was our friend, y’know, because we spend so much time flying with ’em. But now our private prices are on display! Bad for us; GREAT for you.
This is a teachable moment, brands. Even non-controversial news stories often don’t make for great marketing appropriation, but this was way out of line.