Southwest Paints Swimsuit Model on Plane

OK, there's nothing particularly scientific about this, but it has 'popular' written all over it. And we love aviation in the PopSci offices

Saucy Southwest Airlines: AFP/

Budget American airline, Southwest, has come up with a sexy promotion with one of their Boeing 737-700s. To celebrate the annual swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated, Southwest have decided to paint one of their planes with a picture of model Bar Rafaeli. The plane was unveiled at La Guardia Airport in New York and will fly the New York to Las Vegas route. PopSci Sydney is keen to ask our New York office how many car accidents this livery causes when it flies in low to land in NYC! has a gallery of images of the plane here.



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I have just crossed Southwest off of my travel list - I don't care if they offer cross-country round-trip tickets for $50, I will NOT take a Southwest flight anywhere.

I don't care to see a swimsuit model on the side of a plane and I certainly don't want my four young nieces to have to see this during a plane trip.

Aren't women exposed to enough of this slimey marketing tactic everyday? The article calls says this plane has "popular" written all over it - popular with whom? At best, half the population - the kind that are easily parted with their money by manipulating their ego.

The other half is sick of this type of marketing. How would men feel if the situation was reversed and a half-nude sexualized man was painted on the plane? I bet they'd find another carrier in a second.

And, for the record, Southwest has been fighting a high-speed rail system in Texas for sometime now - something our infrastructure needs desperately to keep more polluting cars off of the road. Southwest is not exactly "green" and now it's obvious that they don't care about the female consumer either.


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I agree and disagree. Firstly, this type of marketing and modeling has been going on for a long, long time. I'm tired of hearing people say it's not popular or disgusting or whatever. If society in general really thought that, then it wouldn't be used because companies wouldn't get good feedback from it. Obviously they do get good feedback and that's why they do it. There are so many models out there as well that obviously they don't mind doing these sort of shoots either. It's a bit short sighted to say the other half is sick of it. They are the ones on it after all.

Southwest has been fighting the rail, but wouldn't you if you knew it would take a significant portion of your business? I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying it's the obvious things to do. No company is going to roll out the red carpet and invite other companies to take their business.

What I do agree with though is that there is perhaps too much of this kind of marketing. And I do agree that a plane is probably not the right place to have such a large image of a bikini model on it.

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I can understand where you are coming from Quanah. There's a website I write for that deals with entertainment of different outlets (music, movies/tv, sports etc.) and I'm a little embarrassed to tell my relatives or show them, mainly because there's often pictures of celebrities at their worst, or lying around half naked in various features on the site.

However, it gets hits and brings in traffic which is what a website wants so they stay.

As a guy, I like to think that I have my head screwed on properly and that I'm not swayed by such marketing although it's easy to understand that other people are.

Personally, I'll use a service/buy a product regardless of who endorses it so long as the ad doesn't annoy me. If an advertisement on TV annoys me, I generally remember that ad when looking at the product, change my mind and put it back on the shelf.

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