IPA Effectiveness Awards 2008: Silver Award - Virgin Atlantic


This paper demonstrates how communications over a 15-year period helped enhance 'Virginness' and strengthen performance for the Virgin Atlantic brand. The creative approach incorporated the elements of Richard Branson's innovative, maverick image and persona into the communications campaigns, reinforcing them with iconic personalities and imagery. Working on a small budget, the media strategy ensured advertising was seen alongside that of the big, established brands. Despite being a relatively small operation, Virgin Atlantic is now perceived as an airline industry heavyweight and is the most valuable asset in the Virgin Group. Econometric modelling estimates that communications have produced a return of £10.76 for every £1 invested.


Virgin Atlantic is an extraordinary long-term campaign that used a great mix of media and ideas, many of which were very innovative.

- Alan Bishop, chief executive, COI

Title: How 15 years of communications helped break British Airways'
Client: Virgin Atlantic Airways
Entrant: RKCR/Y&R
Authors: Emily James, RKCR/Y&R; Sergen Ozbek, Brand Science
Contributing authors: Joanna Bamford, Elizabeth Boulter, RKCR/Y&R; Matt
Bement, Manning Gottlieb OMD
Media used: TV, national and regional newspapers, magazines, radio, out
of home, cinema, internet, interactive, DM, sales promotion, PR


Communications over a 15-year period have positioned Virgin Atlantic as an airline industry heavyweight and produced a return of £10.76 for every £1 invested.