Travel is difficult these days. I mean really. I find it a mere feat to get through security without losing some forgotten cosmetic in the Lancel that wasn’t properly zip-locked or proportioned. All that haggling to steal my Ocean Potion. (But why on earth isn’t anyone confiscating those woman’s Crocs? Just sayin’.)
As luck would have it, I flew on Southwest this past weekend returning from a quick trip to Tucson. But it wasn’t until I was seated and buckled that I realized the coincidence. And I must admit, that I wondered for a mere second, if I too would be hated on for indecent exposure like Ms. Ebbert was this past July. Or would they spare me the humiliation and just throw me a blanket to cover up the spillage from a well-placed Victoria Secret’s bra? Would Brand Girl inspired the next Southwest sale? A fare “busting” one? (But of the “natural” kind, of course.)
Although open for a story and a potential sponsorship deal with Victoria Secret, I sadly arrived in Los Angeles without either. But what was sadder, was that Ms. Ebbert and her “Mini-skirt” drama still flooded the news. Dr. Phil? ABC? Enough. Initially, it did appear as an act of lunacy for Southwest –– the airline that started its brand with flight attendants parading around in hot pants — to now be harassing a customer for showing a similar amount of skin. Was it the carrier’s poor judgment? Was it Ms. Ebbert’s poor choice of outfit or lack of skort? Hmm.
(Yet, I’m willing to bet that if our Hooter chick was uniformed like any of the pictured mannequins from the Southwest archives, she would be trotted off to Vogue Magazine and not just to the exit.)
Well leaving fashion to Cathy Horyn and the almighty Fuggs, it appears that Ebbert’s campaign, which included several TV appearances, paid off. She received both the apology and reparation she desired. Or so we thought. (Personally, I think she’s after a book deal.)
But relevant here is how once again, the Internet continues to propel consumer advocacy at warp speed. Although maybe a step or two late, Southwest understood the implication of ignoring the growing momentum of the skirt-spinning campaign and quickly moved to offset further stains. Just earlier this month, we saw a similar disturbance with Apple, Steve Jobs, and his iphone. The allege attempt to snub his early adopters when he slashed the iphone’s price point mere seconds after it was initially released. There use to be a time when Jobs could pull that move on his devoted groupies and get away with it. (Believe me, I know.) But now, the technology that serves Apple Corp well, equally serves both Ms. Ebbert’s and Apple’s audience as –– well.
We are ismart.
One last word on smarts and fashion that flies… or shouldn’t. And I mean no disrespect to the success of the brand, and for the devoted wearers, but I say, that unless they have a note from their doctor, or are now finally tall enough to reach Pluto’s hand on the sign to ride that Monster Coaster at Disneyland, they should be hated on for wearing Crocs Work Shoes, specifically designed for tasks… anywhere outside of tasking.