April 18, 2014 | Posted in Editorial Features by
by Coleen Singer at Sssh.com
We've all heard of ‘truth in advertising,' even if we've never actually witnessed it, but until today, I'd never encountered ‘accidental truth in customer service.'
Granted, I'm not sure the intended message of a certain NSFW tweet from US Airways is the same as the message that I've gleaned from it, but I think it's safe to say that if a picture is "worth a thousand words," then about 997 of the words expressed by this picture are of the four-letter variety.
It seems that most people interpret the meaning of this picture to be a pronounced "stick it where the sun don't shine" uttered in the direction of Elle Rafter, the customer the tweet was made in response to, but as I read it, it's more of a confession from the airline: Flying US Airways is a Massive Pain in the Cooch.
While some find this candor offensive, I say kudos to US Airways for eschewing the traditional customer service approach in favor of an in-your-face (or, in this case, in-your-vag) communications style previously employed only by longshoremen, sanitation workers and Manhattan cabbies. Sure, it's rude, but at least it's direct; after all, nothing says "Your feedback matters to us" or "What did you expect, Your Highness, the Ritz with Wings?" like a picture of a female traveler with a toy airplane sticking out of where her little balloons full of heroin are supposed to be hidden.
It's also possible, I suppose, that the image is an advance warning of sorts, tipping travelers to the sort of no-holes-barred cavity searches they can expect from the courteous and magnanimous TSA agents staffing the security lines at the nearest US Airways hub.
Either way, I think this incident calls for a whole new set of marketing slogans and advertising taglines for US Airways (which, by the way, recently joined a creepy and corporate-Big-Brother-sounding organization called the "oneworld alliance").
I have a few suggestions:
Putting the ‘Ass' in First Class Travel
Spreading the Joy of Flight
A Passion for Flight You Can Really Feel
Alternatively, US Airways could always go the route of putting a twist on a competitor's motto, ala:
Something Special in the Area
Catch Our (Vertical) Smile
Fly the Entirely Too-Friendly Skies
Or they can cut to the chase and put it all on the line in a way that leaves no doubt as to the original intent of the controversial tweet: US Airways: Because Fuck You, That's Why.
I think this tweet could usher in a whole new age of brand-honesty, and while it won't make us consumers feel any better about ourselves, or about the companies we squander our hard-earned money on, at least we'd know where we stand. Imagine, if you will, a new "It's Crap, but it's Really CHEAP Crap" campaign from Walmart, or a "Dig Your Own Delicious Grave" collect-the-game-pieces promotion from McDonalds, and tell me that wouldn't be at least a little refreshing for a change.
It's a shame that US Airways has already apologized for this incident; it could have been the start of a brave new oneworld of corporate frankness!
About Coleen Singer
Coleen Singer is a writer, photographer, film editor and all-around geeky gal at Sssh.com, where she often waxes eloquent about sex, porn, sex toys, censorship, the literary and pandering evils of Fifty Shades of Grey and other topics not likely to be found on the Pulitzer Prize shortlist. She is also the editor and curator of EroticScribes.com. When she is not doing all of the above, Singer is an amateur stock-car racer and enjoys modifying vintage 1970s cars for the racetrack. Oh, she also likes porn.