Virgin Atlantic celebrates diversity and individuality in ad marking the return of travel

First advertising from Lucky Generals kicks off with a joyous spot directed by Ben Strebel of Biscuit

Published On
Apr 14, 2022

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Virgin Atlantic celebrates diversity and individuality in a bold and joyous new campaign, marking the return of international travel rin the wake of the pandemic,

The first work for the airline from Lucky Generals, which won the account last summer from AMV BBDO, kicks off with a TV ad showing a diverse group comprising both employees and customers making their way through the airport and then onto the plane. Among them are a male cabin crew member wearing makeup (while his female colleague chooses not to -- a nod to the airline's policy which differs from some other carriers), a man in a wheelchair with glittering wheels to match his jacket, a same sex couple happily asleep in the waiting room and a businesswoman wearing tongue studs that set off the security system. The final scene reveals a female pilot captaining the plane.

The spot, which was directed by Ben Strebel at Biscuit, is set to a cover Gloria Gaynor's classic anthem "I Am What I Am" performed by jazz and soul artist Lady Blackbird, underlining both the message and the joyous feel. The tagline is "See the world differently."

The TV ad will be accompanied by a print campaign made up of portraits Virgin Atlantic crew and customers, with lines championing their individuality. These include a confident businesswoman saying “I am my own captain”, a family arriving for their holiday saying “A crew like no other” and a female Captain with the line “Born to fly”.

According to the airline, the ad builds on Virgin's heritage as a challenger brand to the status quo of flying. It also builds on research showing that travelers find most airlines’ crew to be impersonal in their service; in contrast, Virgin wants to emphasize that its crew don't follow a script and are free to be themselves.

“It’s more important than ever that we reimagine the world and lead the way with fresh ideas," said Annabelle Cordelli, vice president, brand & marketing at Virgin Atlantic, in a statement. "Virgin Atlantic is uniquely placed to do this because of the rich individuality of our people and our customers: the unique people who march to their own drumbeat, fly their own path, see things from a different angle. So it makes sense to start by championing them – and then apply this spirit to everything we do. After two challenging years when life has been on pause, it’s time to see the world differently.”

Lucky Generals founder Andy Nairn added: “This is a dream brief for us. One of the most iconoclastic brands in the world, with a genuine desire to do things differently. It’s great to be off the runway and now we’re looking forward to all the exciting places we can go with this idea.”