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Southwest Airlines Drives Brand Engagement With a Viral Hashtag Contest


Most airlines have long-standing loyalty programs, however, they often struggle with the acquisition and engagement of their current members. Southwest Airlines wanted to re-introduce its past theme and tagline, Wanna Get Away, to drive acquisition for its loyalty program and increase buzz in the social media space.


As the airlines chosen partner, Merkle created a hashtag contest inviting people to share their own Wanna Get Away moments while promoting Southwest to be top-of-mind and interactive in social media. By posting contest submissions via Twitter or Instagram, consumers were invited to follow @southwestair, then share their funny or embarrassing moments explaining why they deserved an all-expense paid vacation to a destination like Belize to get away from it all. Consumers could upload a video or photo with their entry and were required to include #WannaGetAway and #contest.



Contest Submissions on Twitter and Instagram


The #WannaGetAway Gallery
Merkle aggregated and moderated all hashtags and shares and also hosted a gallery on the campaign microsite.


Sweepstakes Overlay
For data acquisition purposes, we developed also a separate microsite where members entered personal information to receive sweepstakes entries for another chance to win.


Increased usage of campaign hashtag driving buzz in social space

Increased loyalty members and data acquisition

Increased social followers

Keys to success

  • Generated content and positive sentiment among social followers, with an incentive to post photos of every day life that feels authentic to consumers
  • Simple social entry flow to create a buzz with a secondary sweepstakes layer to acquire new member data
  • Highly relevant prize of a free trip motivated consumers and created a value exchange that made consumers willing to provide personal contact data

Discover how we did it. Contact us today.

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