Virgin Red backs relaunch with (literally) uplifting TV campaign

Virgin Red was relaunched and realigned last year.

Virgin is backing its Virgin Red loyalty scheme with a multimedia campaign that hinges on a TV ad depicting a woman borne aloft by bubblegum.

Marking the debut work for Virgin Red by a creative agency partnership between Glow London and Truant London, the 40-second ad shows a young woman chewing gum and fantasising about blowing a bubble so large that she becomes airborne. Her dream comes true and she flies up into the clouds, above and through the skyscrapers of a cityscape.

The ad is set to a cover version of the 1980s hit 99 Red Balloons, produced by Jolt with a 36-piece Berlin orchestra and vocalist Grace Carter.

The campaign spans TV, broadcasters video on demand, social and digital display.

Virgin Red was relaunched last year to bring it closer to the Virgin parent brand. The rewards scheme is targeting Virgin's 15 million-plus customers in the UK and aims to treat "people as members, not customers, by replacing a transactional connect with something more rewarding".

The ad campaign was directed by Tash Tung via Blink Productions. Media was planned and bought by Bountiful Cow. The work was created by Charlie Lindsay, George Bartlett and Ed Edwards.

Emma Harris, Glow London's chief, said: "We set out to create something joyful, memorable and with a big dollop of 'Virginess' that the brand is famous for. The Virgin Red team has been an incredible partner on our journey to creating this brave and beautiful campaign."

Linn Frost, Virgin Red's marketing director, added: "We worked on the concept while we were deep in lockdown and the thought of blowing a bubble and floating across the city felt so refreshing. It's the exact feeling we want our members to have – to embrace and enjoy every moment. We had the bubblegum idea before we found the song. When we brought them together, we knew that was it."

Virgin recently appointed Glow London as its lead creative agency on its account, worth £3m in UK media billings. The agency won the business after a four-way competitive pitch that included network agencies. Glow is partnering Truant London, which is leading on creative strategic elements for the product.

In October last year, it was announced that Virgin chief Lisa Thomas was leaving amid a restructure that included a closer alignment between Virgin Red and the Virgin brand.

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