SOUTHWEST LIFTS MINORITY ADS IN EXPANDED FIVE-PART TV PLAN: NO. 7 AIRLINE STILL TOUTS FARES IN COMMERCIALS

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Southwest Airlines launches two new TV spots this month targeting Hispanic customers-part of a busy year of advertising for the nation's sev- enth-largest carrier.

Southwest has stepped up advertising targeted to minority audiences. In addition to the Hispanic effort, started late last year, it launched a radio push aimed at African-Americans in January.

'FUN FARES'

The new Spanish-language spots will air nationally on Univision, promoting low "fun fares" and the airline's overall branding message. The commercials, by Dieste & Partners, Dallas, use the same concepts as Southwest's current "Want to get away" and "Symbol of freedom" campaigns.

The Hispanic ads are just one of five TV drives Southwest has slated for 1999. The carrier, which spent $109 million in 1998, generally divides its advertising into three categories.

One promotes its low fares, with the "Want to get away" line. Southwest's general branding campaign promotes its "Symbol of freedom" theme. And it has a separate tie-in with the NFL.

GSD&M, Austin, Texas, is the airline's main agency.

The airline will air four new branding spots in June. By late summer, it will break two more new spots for its everyday low fares. This fall, four new commercials promote its NFL sponsorship deal.

Plans call for airing all but the football commercials on the dozen regional sports networks where games of Southwest-sponsored baseball, hockey and basketball teams are televised.

"We feel it's very important to get involved with customers at the local level," said Joyce Rogge, Southwest VP-marketing. "In order to do that, we have to tie into things they're passionate about."

The new "It must be football season" spots will air during national broadcasts of National Football League games on all four networks that carry them: CBS, ABC, Fox and ESPN.

TV AD HONORS RYAN

In a fifth effort for the year, a single TV spot honoring baseball great Nolan Ryan began airing last week.

The commercial comes four months before the airline will fly the former pitcher to Cooperstown, N.Y., aboard a special plane, the Nolan Ryan Express, for his

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