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314. Ad of the Week: Not a United Spot. 

About a month ago, I posted an article about Virgin Atlantic's new identity, livery and print campaign. So I thought I would follow-up with their newest campaign element. Yesterday the airline launched a new television spot in Britain that builds on their long-standing idea of stewardess as sex symbol. Of course it's shallow and silly but I will say that they do seem to have a certain—shall we say—standard for their flight attendents. Selling this as part of their brand is nothing new of course. (Some of us will recall the famous headline of "Coffee, Tea, or Me?") Having flown a few airlines in my time, this guy would submit that the talent on KLM is actually superior but I digress.

I'm not sure how this article has devolved so quickly. Back to the point with apologies.

The spot feels like a mix of a James Bond title-sequence, that music video for Robert Palmer's Simply Irresistable, and an airport. It's gratuitous on purpose and seems to abound with symbolism. Of course the ladies in the sky are the main attraction throughout in typical Richard Branson style. The soundtrack is none other than Muse's song Feelin' Good, which also reminds me more of something by Rufus Wainwright than the rock-opera band's earlier stuff. The spot ends with the tag-line: "Your airline's either got it, or it hasn't." This might be my favorite part of the piece because it has that Virgin attitude. I could do without all the flying disco balls and martini glasses as hot-tubs however.

I understand that Virgin has always stood for bringing back the glamour in flying and it's a strategy that I like and one that they can pull off better than most. I don't always agree with how it's executed; usually with more of a sophomoric than sophisticated approach. Not that anyone is asking but I think it would be even more effective with a bit more intelligence imbued into the work. Or do I mean class?

Though the spot is now running in Britain, you can see it in the states starting later this week during the MLB Playoffs. (Oh yeah, baseball. I remember that. I stopped watching in July when the Mets started to tank. They're still playing baseball?!?) Be sure to go to Virgin's main site to learn more.

Your Airline Doesn't Have this:

And just to show that this isn't anything new, I submit last year's Still Red Hot spot for Virgin's 25th Anniversary:

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Reader Comments (1)

The Feelin' Good is a cover of Nina Simone so that might be why it sounds like something Rufus Wainwright did. There are tons of covers of it out there including Michael Buble which is really similar to Muse'.

I think the Bond-esque appeal of this commercial though has a sophistication that the others didn't in the past. It's cheeky but they hide it better I guess. I also think it's a clever way to show off how they are different like the softer sleeping arrangements, items served while onboard, etc.
October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNick Campbell

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