Virgin Atlantic shifts to global marketing focus

LONDON - Virgin Atlantic is overhauling its marketing strategy to establish itself as a global brand.

Virgin Atlantic: global brand drive
Virgin Atlantic: global brand drive

As part of the initiative, The carrier plans to launch an ad campaign targeting what it describes as the "global Virgin Atlantic consumer". This follows its decision last year to consolidate its global ad account into UK incumbent RKCR/Y&R.

The airline has also appointed LBi to a £10m digital account, briefing the agency  to completely rebuild its virgin-atlantic.com website. Saint, part of the RKCR/Y&R group, remains the brand's retained digital agency.

It is understood that LBi, which secured the account following a pitch against AKQA, Razorfish and Sapient, will also handle online advertising, as well as social media and mobile activity in Virgin Atlantic's key markets.

The RKCR/Y&R-created campaign highlights  both the emotional and rational reasons for flying with the airline. It will be overseen by Virgin Atlantic sales and marketing director Paul Dickinson and head of global advertising and communications Breda Bubear.

The integrated activity introduces the strapline 'Your airline has either got it, or it hasn't'. The push will be supported by a dedicated microsite. Print ads and direct marketing will look to drive consumers online, where they can further ‘explore the Virgin Atlantic brand'.

The activity, which launches next week in the UK, promotes each of the carrier's cabin classes – Upper Class, Premium Economy, Economy and Flying Club.

According to Bubear, despite the levels of awareness of the Virgin Atlantic brand varying in different markets, the campaign will consistently target "go-getters" who actively make decisions to "set themselves apart from the crowd".

She said the ad format is flexible to allow individual markets to emphasise specific messages that will appeal to local consumers.

This will be Virgin Atlantic's first major marketing push since last year's 'Still red hot' campaign to celebrate the brand's 25th anniversary.

Last year, Virgin Atlantic also appointed GyroHSR to handle its global direct market-ing, while  its incumbent UK agency OMD was awarded its global media planning and buying account.

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