The Challenge

Winning the US business traveler audience is essential for Virgin Atlantic’s growth. But many travelers weren’t sure whether Virgin Atlantic’s irreverent, provocative brand was suited to deliver all of their business needs. 

Virgin Atlantic needed to assure business travelers that Upper Class - their top-of-the-line business travel experience - was elevated by a distinct brand identity that has always separated them from the competition. 

So when it came to communications, instead of falling into the category conventions, we thought a little differently. We wanted to reassure travelers that Virgin could deliver on the functional necessities of business travel, but provide an experience that went beyond simply getting them from point A to B.  

Virgin Atlantic, a challenger brand with a premium Upper Class offering, was perfectly positioned to tell this more epic kind of business story and with our creative, we sought to draw that sense of adventure out of our perspective fliers. 

The Creative

We believe every business trip is an adventure. We believe every one of our fliers is setting off to accomplish incredible things. And we believe we can help.

It’s why we created a campaign that was more rallying cry than a traditional advertisement. It was a parchment stuck with an arrow through the tree in the center of town: “Calling all adventurers.” Each one of our messages was a call to action; encouragement to go, to let it fly, and to hold nothing back.

And in doing this, we positioned Virgin Atlantic as the guide making sure our business travelers had everything they needed to climb the mountain, slay the dragon, and get back home in time for the victory parade.

This style of communication allowed us to talk about Virgin Atlantic’s amenities in a unique way. Whether it was door-to-door chauffeur service, a flat bed and a delicious cocktail, or a warm shower before a big meeting, and a place to relax after before heading home – each amenity was positioned as a tool to help our travelers succeed on every business adventure they embarked on.

Media

We focused our media launch efforts on gateways to business adventures: one of the most trafficked highways in Los Angeles, Grand Central Station and Fulton Street in New York City. 

Following these initial launch venues, there will be a nationwide rollout of Virgin’s bold message in cities with heavy business commuter traffic. Digital media will foster engagement throughout the launch by targeting business people during peak commuting hours. Our ambition is for business travelers across America to fly with Virgin Atlantic and make their next business adventure truly epic.

And because “business is an epic adventure” is such a strong belief system, more work will launch throughout 2015 under this umbrella.

Results

The campaign has been extremely effective. Persuasion among the business traveler audience is 92% among people who saw the campaign - compared to an airline norm of 57%. 

In the six months since launch, searches are up 24% and consideration is up 10% among people exposed to the campaign. Brand commitment is at an all-time high among Transatlantic business travelers, at 54%. And most importantly, sales of Upper Class seats have risen by 9%, evidence that the campaign is taking off and that F&P really understands this high-flying audience.

Now that we've filled the front of the plane, we've shifted focus to the "middle cabin" - Premium Economy and saw sales increase 23% in the month following the campaign's launch.

 

 

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