Virgin Atlantic Hires Figliulo & Partners in North America

Virgin's Partnership With Delta Has Boosted Richard Branson's Airline

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Virgin Atlantic 'Let it Fly'
Virgin Atlantic 'Let it Fly'

Virgin Atlantic is hiring Figliulo & Partners as its North American creative agency of record, with a brief to build the brand and introduce the "Let it Fly" global campaign to the airline's second biggest market.

The search for an agency to handle the $10 million to $15 million business began in September, through agency intelligence provider Simon Bradley, Virgin Atlantic VP Marketing North America, saw pitches from a number of agencies, but incumbent Y&R New York did not repitch.

Mr. Bradley said, "We've been in the U.S. as long as we've been in the U.K., but typically here we've been seen as a more boutique airline brand. In the last 12 months, with our Delta partnership [Delta bought a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic a year ago], we've been able to bring the Virgin Atlantic brand to a larger audience through frequent flyer [programs], corporate contracts and marketing. It's given us a shot in the arm and extended our reach."

Figliulo & Partners' work will be to carry this momentum forward using the global "Let It Fly" line introduced by Adam & Eve/DDB earlier this month. The U.K. shop won lead global agency status on the business in August 2014, ending Virgin Atlantic's 20-year relationship with Rainey Kelly/Y&R in London.

Judith Carr-Rodriguez, founding partner and president of Figliulo & Partners, said, "Our role is to complement the great work Adam & Eve/DDB are doing in the U.K. The tonality will be different – we are looking at how we will take the proposition to the U.S. market."

She said the agency's first work for Virgin Atlantic will run in the next couple months. Figliulo & Partners will work with Virgin Atlantic's existing agency partners in North America, Naked Communications and OMD, as well as with Adam & Eve/DDB.

Mr. Bradley added, "Typically we do lots of digital because it's effective and efficient, but part of F&P's role will be to look at where to do digital versus other channels."

Mr. Bradley said in a statement, "While we were highly impressed with all of the ideas presented to us during the review process, F&P really stood out with their exemplary strategic thinking. F&P is uniquely positioned in the industry, having big creative experience coupled with the entrepreneurial spirit of a boutique. We feel confident that their collaborative, agile, and data-driven approach is exactly what we need to drive our brand forward."

The win comes as a boost to the agency less than a month after official confirmation that, although still on the roster, it had lost its first big client, Sprint, to Interpublic's Deutsch L.A. Figliulo & Partners was formed in July 2013 when Mark Figliulo left his job as CCO of TBWA/Chiat/Day New York. The new shop won the Sprint business in November 2013.

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