Virgin airlines create a world-first film
Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Australia have joined forces to launch a joint entertainment, digital and out-of-home advertising campaign to convey the Virgin in-flight experience in the Los Angeles market and mark the airlines’ global frequent flyer partnership. The campaign creative was developed by San Francisco-based agency Eleven and is focused on the Los Angeles market.
Left: Actors Ben Feldman (left) and Philip Baker Hall filming at 35,000ft at Virgin Atlantic's onboard bar
At the centre of the campaign is a creative concept whereby the airlines, Eleven and Virgin Produced (the entertainment arm of the Virgin Group), teamed up to create an independent short film shot in 20 hours, across three continents and on three commercial flights while at 35,000 feet – a first for a short film.
The film, Departure Date, was written and directed by award-winning writer and director Kat Coiro (L!fe Happens, While We Were Here and A Case of You) and stars Ben Feldman (Mad Men), Nicky Whelan (Hall Pass), Philip Baker Hall, Luis Guzmán, Janeane Garofalo and Max Brown. The scenes were shot in Virgin America’s First Class and Main Cabin, Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class cabin, Economy cabin and onboard bar, and Virgin Australia’s International Business cabin which featured the sit-down bar, ladies-only bathroom and exclusive Row Five.
Right: Ben Feldman and Nicky Whelan filming on Virgin Australia's International Business cabin Row Five
“Virgin airlines have swept all the awards for having the best entertainment systems in the skies but a movie about falling in love with a stranger onboard a Virgin plane: now that’s in-flight entertainment!,” said Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson.
The multi-media 'Virgin Skies' campaign includes digital media executions as well as out-of-home advertising in the Los Angeles market, which features digital billboards across the LA area, including a video billboard on Sunset Boulevard. The campaign banners and film snippets will appear on websites including: latimes.com, laist.com, nytimes.com, guardiannews.com, yelp.com, youtube.com,blip.tv and hulu.com. Visitors to the larger campaign’s experiential website www.flyvirgin.com, can learn more about the independent film, the airlines’ route networks and the Virgin in-flight experience – as well as having the opportunity to win weekly giveaways.
“Travel is one of the most transformative things you can do – and Virgin airlines have always challenged why the experience of getting there can’t be just as rewarding. With the best entertainment offerings in the skies, inventive service and unique design – our goal has always been to transform the flight experience and to bring the style back to air travel,” said Dimitrios Papadogonas, director of marketing at Virgin America. “In an industry that has become dominated by dismal service, this campaign brings to life how Virgin airlines are continuing to redefine the in-flight experience around the globe.”
Left: Philip Baker Hall and writer and director of the film, Kat Coiro, preparing for their next scene in Virgin America's First Class cabin
Simon Bradley, vice president of marketing at Virgin Atlantic added, “Los Angeles is one of the most glamorous cities in the world, with its style, fame and deep roots in the entertainment industry. It’s also the only destination that brings all three Virgin airlines together with multiple flights per day to cities across the globe. From the beginning, we knew our campaign should live in Los Angeles and we chose a movie as the best way to celebrate all that is great about LA. Departure Date is our love story to Los Angeles where anything can happen and dreams can come true.”
Mike McKay, chief creative officer at Eleven, stated, "Being an iconic, master brand with so many passionate followers, we knew Virgin needed to do something different in Los Angeles when all three of their airlines joined together. So we embraced the soul of Southern California by shooting the very first film at 35,000 feet, and blended it with the fun, intoxicating spirit of the Virgin in-flight experience."