The "One day" campaign, created by Adam & Eve/DDB, will see the airline unearth historical user tweets that start with "One day I will..." and then broadcast them across social media, digital display and outdoor locations in the UK.
Anyone who spots their own historical tweet on display and claims it as their own will be given a free flight to a Virgin Atlantic destination to fulfil whatever it was they planned to do "one day". The airline will give away up to five flights for the campaign.
The concept extends the airline's 'Let It Fly' strapline, launched with with a major TV spot created by Adam & Eve/DDB in January last year.
Virgin Atlantic's vice president of marketing, Hamish Rickman, says the new digitally-focused campaign lets the brand turn 'Let It Fly' into a reality for passengers.
"It's about bringing our bigger brand proposition to life – that life doesn't come to you, you go to it, and 'Let It Fly'," he told Campaign. "It gets people to deliver on their ambitions in life, and provokes them to take that thing they are always talking about, and make it a reality."
Asked about possible privacy issues of using user-generated content from five years ago, Rickman acknowledged the potential pitfall.
"When you're talking about live engagement, there are inherently risks," he said. "We will have people monitoring conversations every day over the [duration] of this campaign. We're ensuring we're on top of any issues that might arise. It is the challenge."
Increasing spend on digital
While Virgin Atlantic still regards TV as a hugely important medium, Rickman says digital and social are key to bringing the airline's brand philosophy to life.
"Our sentiment is that other airlines couldn’t operate in this space, and it's really important we are truly distinctive," he said.
Virgin Atlantic shook up its marketing department seven months ago after the departure of Maria Sebastian, formerly senior vice president for global sales and customer engagement for the airline.
Reuben Arnold is now the airline's top marketer, in the role of senior vice president for marketing and customer experience, overseeing global marketing, customer experience, brand and sponsorship.
Rickman is responsible for brand strategy across Virgin Atlantic's markets, developing communications for consumer, CRM and B2B.
Rickman would not be drawn on the financials of Virgin Atlantic's marketing mix but, echoing most big brands, said it had been a growing part of the brand's spend.