Spirit Airlines uses ‘A-Rod,’ ‘PED’ advertising puns

David Brown
Big League Stew

If you've ever flown Spirit Airlines, or only heard of the discount carrier, you've probably seen some of their pun-laced marketing efforts. Many of them involve sports themes. Kind of. They recently made fun of Manti Te'o (hey, who hasn't?) and now they're onto Major League Baseball's ongoing PED soap opera. As of Wednesday, two of the rotating advertisements on Spirit's web site mock Alex Rodriguez as they try to sell you plane tickets to spring training.

"Improve your travel performance! with our PEDs!," says one ad that includes too many exclamation points and a blond in a bikini holding a bat behind her head. Please note the No. 13 on the nub — it's not for the great shortstops of Venezuela. In another ad, the punning gets downright A-Rodiculous:

Literally! "A-ROD-ICULOUSLY GREAT TIME." As Kiff on "Futurama" would say, "Sigh."

As an amateur marketing guru (I watch a lot of "Mad Men"), I'm not 100 percent sold on "PRICE EXTRAVAGANZA DEALS" as another meaning behind the PED (or "performance-enhancing drug") acronym. If it were more clever, or just made better sense, we'd be talking Clio Award for sure. Regardless, the only reason Spirit wanted to do these ads was so they could get "A-Rodiculous" published and on the record. And they did it for good, old-fashioned exploitation's sake. Mostly harmless. The only thing they have to worry about is A-Rod suing for his cut. Unless it was his idea all along.

Spirit isn't afraid to make fun of anyone, even themselves. As apparent bottom feeders in the airline industry (no offense) they're bound to use stunts and gimmicks and free publicity to carve out their small place among the majors.

But what about "Price Eroding Deals"?

"Price Evaporating Deals"?

"Price Ebbing Deals"?

"Pretty Exceptional Discount"?

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