Virgin Atlantic targets ‘passionate’ experience seekers with new brand ad

Virgin Atlantic is hoping to standout in the increasingly price driven air travel market with a new brand campaign that looks to tap into the entrepreneurial, can-do attitude of those that might be willing to pay a little extra for its added value services.

The global “Let it Fly” campaign, the first created by adam&eveDDB since taking over from RKCR/Y&R in August, tells the story of a passenger on their way to pitch an unspecified “big idea”, while also taking the opportunity to showcase some of the added value services – comfy beds, haircuts, cocktails and limo services – it offers.

Although the spot does not explicitly advertise its business travel service, the focus on its premium offering and attempts at inspiring narration – talk of “thinking big” and the attestation “life doesn’t come to you, so go to it” – is squarely aimed at business travellers.

In a statement, Virgin Atlantic’s head of brand engagement, Hamish Rickman, was keen to stress the universality of the message: “Virgin Atlantic naturally attracts customers who are passionate about seeking new experiences and this campaign throws down the gauntlet to them to turn their ideas and dreams into reality.

“This campaign is a real step change in how we express ourselves creatively. We’ll always be a challenger brand but for this campaign, instead of challenging the competition, we are challenging ourselves and the customer to ‘Let it Fly’.”

The campaign is markedly different from the carrier’s last brand ad in 2013, which focussed on the added value its cabin crew offer, rather than tapping into the aspiration of its customers.

Business-wise, much has changed at Virgin Atlantic in those two years. It now has a partnership with Delta after the US carrier bought a 49% stake in 2013. The stated aim was to return Virgin to profit while maintaining its customer experience edge over the competition.

It was announced in September 2014 that £300m would be invested in service enhancements, while annual losses are expected to have ended last year.

The ‘Let it Fly’ TV campaign launched 3 January. It is backed by print, digital and out of home activity. A digital platform where customers “are encouraged to pack their virtual suitcase” resulting in a “bespoke itinerary” for “their ideal destination” being generated has also been launched.


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