Virgin Atlantic is taking its Economy Class on to TV this week for
the first time with a fast-moving commercial that celebrates the
excitement and adventure of travel.
The film, by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe, opens with a large stone
cherub hurtling down towards a young man sitting on a bench at a bus
stop. The Grim Reaper duly settles down beside him, anticipating the
The man follows the Grim Reaper’s gaze upwards and, when he spots the
stone object bearing down from the sky, his life starts to flash before
We first see him as a wailing baby, then as a toddler. A series of
increasingly exciting scenes from his life then pass before his
At intervals, the film moves back to the bus-stop scenario, showing the
stone cherub suspended above the hero, while the Grim Reaper starts to
lose patience, waiting for the action-packed flashback to come to an
To pass the time, the deathly figure eats a pizza, reads a book and
eventually falls asleep clutching a teddy bear.
Finally, the young man’s visions come to an end, but he avoid his fate
as the Grim Reaper sleeps soundly.
M. T. Rainey, the planning partner at Rainey Kelly, said: ’The ad is
aimed at travellers rather than tourists. Virgin Atlantic has
consistently advertised its Upper Class service and it is now time to
bring the Virgin values back to leisure travellers.’
Although a couple of scenes from the flashback take place on Virgin
aircraft, the ad focuses not on the product but on capturing an
adventurous attitude to travel and its role as a life experience.
Virgin is spending pounds 2 million on airtime for the commercial in
1997 through Manning Gottlieb Media.
The ad was written and art directed by Richard Beesening and Andy Blood,
and directed by Frank Budgen through the Paul Weiland Film Company.