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Flying in the Face of Ordinary

Client: Virgin Atlantic
Brand: Virgin Atlantic


In a world where people increasingly see long haul travel as a chore, Virgin Atlantic wanted to remind people just how amazing flying is - and that with the right airline, every time you fly can be as amazing as your first.

One of the ways Virgin Atlantic achieves this is through their distinctive brand of customer service. Virgin Atlantic’s brief to RKCR/Y&R was to launch a new global television advertising campaign, which showcases their incredible flying experience but puts Virgin Atlantic’s people firmly at the heart of it.

The campaign had to be one that translated across multiple global markets and cultures: it therefore had to be based on a fantastically simple, strong brand truth that transcended international boundaries.  The campaign idea also had to be powerful enough to live across every media channel in an integrated way, as well as providing an inspiring manifesto for Virgin Atlantic ground and air staff to follow.  Equally, the launch was set for January: a busy month for advertisers. The message had to be big, bold and confident in order to punch through the clutter of high street sale campaigns.


RKCR/Y&R’s response was a new global positioning for the brand: “Flying in the Face of Ordinary”, that brings to life Virgin Atlantic’s innovative and pioneering spirit whilst demonstrating that special spark that makes the people, and the experience you get with Virgin Atlantic, so special and different. In 90”, 60” and 30” TV and cinema edits and a 2min online version, we adopted a faux movie trailer format that pays homage to the superhero movie genre. We see Virgin Atlantic Airways staff as children, in possession of special gifts and extraordinary talents, such as intuitive anticipation, rapid reflexes, creative problem solving, heightened empathy and ultimate passion for flying. These remarkable abilities draw them to join Virgin Atlantic where they can fulfil their potential and become the finest crew, ground staff, designers and pilots resulting in the superior customer experience Virgin Atlantic delivers. An experience that truly flies in the face of ordinary.


Virgin Atlantic recorded 107,000 organic views in the first 24hours on Youtube, 340,000 organic views before it had even officially launched on January 1st 2013, 1,097,860 total views to date on Youtube, 5,056 Youtube likes and 2,520 combined Facebook likes.

Despite not being a KPI, the campaign helped grow Virgin Atlantic’s Facebook fan base by nearly 14% and helped add 9,595 new Twitter followers during the campaign period.
Crucially, Virgin Atlantic also saw a sales increase of 4.2% versus the same campaign period the previous year.

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