Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I bet they even gave him a FULL can of Coke, because after all, we LOVE our Vets!!

(Please skip to 0:53 to watch the commercial being panned.)

Here's another example of a company willing to latch itself to veterans like fricking sucker fish in order to sell the country on the idea of using it's product for reasons which have absolutely, positively NOTHING to do with the quality of the product.

Is Southwest Airlines a good company to work for? Who cares- check out the "patriotic" bunting. Is it easy to buy a ticket on Southwest Airlines? Doesn't matter- check out the red, white and blue balloons. Does Southwest Airlines fly to the place I need to go? Why are you even asking- can't you see the cheering crowds and the mini American flags? Whats' with all the questions- do you Hate America or something?

And this poor spokeschoad, forced to read (in stilted, obviously rehearsed fashion) the lame lines someone scribbled out on a card- if she wasn't such a tool, I might actually feel sorry for her. She actually thanks this ancient vet/pawn/willing backdrop for "honoring our country." What the hell does that even mean? She's thanking him for wearing his uniform and visiting the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC? Isn't thanking him for his service enough?

But if the lickspittle spokesperson isn't to be pitied for her job- imposing herself into every camera shot of the Quite Correctly Honored Veteran- the old veteran certainly is. For some reason, there's a big crowd of people with balloons and flags waiting for him at the airport when he arrives- assembled spontaneously, of course. Because we all know that the moment word gets around an airport that a Veteran Of An Actual Declared War is in the vicinity, we civilians get busy painting signs, arming ourselves with flags, and forming groups determined to Honor that particular vet- or at the very least, give him a smarmy, showy salute as we acknowledge his right to cram himself into a tiny Southwest Airlines puddle-jumping prop plane with zero overhead compartment space before us Lesser Non-Serving Peoples. (As if there's some advantage to be allowed to board one of their cramped coffins with wings first. Notice that no one has ever adopted the idea that maybe vets should have priority EXITING as well as priority BOARDING. Hey, patriotism can be carried only so far!)

Hey Southwest, thanks for not charging a baggage fee (for now. We all know that you'll cave at some point.) Thanks for providing a service which would be considered rather high-level if we still had PeopleExpress to compare it too. But please, leave the old men in uniform alone. Give them discounted tickets because you ought too, not because it's good publicity. Let them board planes first because- well, unless they are elderly, I really don't know how to finish that sentence. But stop acting like you deserve the freaking Medal of Freedom for doing it, ok?

Oh, and get out of the shot. This is not supposed to be about you (haha, who do I think I'm kidding?)


  1. Euuuurrrgghhh; it's as if they teach future ad-men a course in wrapping themselves in the flag and being patronizing twits.

  2. I mentioned before my dad is a 21 year career Army man. He's a Vietnam vet (was over from 1966 to 1967, wounded, has the Purple Heart among other awards). Last year, a place called Finnegan's RV decided to take a bunch of local area WWII vets to see their memorial. I don't know if he got the idea from anywhere or came up with it on his own, but he did all the fundraising himself (the owner of Finnegan's, that is).

    They got several charter buses and four RVs. My dad's RV was one of them. Finnegan asked, my dad said yes- and his RV has a wheelchair lift. So, we got this convoy of local WWII vets, volunteers (drivers, medical people, spouses who needed to come along) all going to DC on money raised not only quickly, but locally.

    They call it "VetsRoll". This year, they just went with charter buses and my dad did't go along. But, not only did they take WWII vets, on that first trip, they took my dad. And my dad got to see the Vietnam War Memorial for the first time. He got to see the names of the men he fought with who were lost when he was wounded.

    They did it all without pandering this way. Maybe I should give ol' Finnegan a call and let him know the kind of publicity he's missing out on. He could go national!

  3. There are classy ways to honor vets, and then there's what Southwest Airlines and Miller does. I'd like to see vets tell SWA and Miller "know what? Thanks anyway- but we aren't for sale."

  4. As a business decision, this offer comes off as a bit transparent.
    World War II vets are starting to die off like WWI vets did in the '80's.
    Someone figured out the number of surviving WWII and averaged-out their life expectancy and the likelihood of their taking the Southwest haj to the memorial in DC. As a business decision, it panned out and made sense to fold into a PR campagne. Add one weeping flight attendant and a cute war survivor, and Southwest got its campagne.
    I don't like the film in all its PC sucrose and mawkishness. This isn't the way to honor the vet or anyone else for that matter.

  5. This, of course, is where being a scoundrel comes into play; the empty smile of commerce and not any real patriotism is what drives this vehicle of sleaze across the vast wasteland of the small screen.

  6. Nicely stated, Dreaded. "The empty smile of commerce".